Pentagon unveils large-scale plan to track, shoot down missiles in space

Trump will visit Pentagon to talk missile defense

Pentagon's missile defense review looks at new space technologies

Pentagon officials have long warned about advancements in hypersonic and cruise missiles being made by Russia and China and, late last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a hypersonic missile he claimed was "invulnerable" to United States defenses.

While speaking at Pentagon Thursday morning, President Trump said "today marks a new era in America's missile defense program".

The Missile Defence Review also recommends studying experimental tech, including projects for space-based weaponry that might be able to destroy weaponry - a throwback to Ronald Regan's so-called "Star Wars" initiative in the 80s.

Top among the concerns highlighted in the review is the speed at which rivals, particularly China and Russian Federation, are pushing ahead with hypersonic missiles, which can thwart traditional defence systems.

In particular, Trump announced there would be 20 more ground-based interceptors in Alaska, a location aimed at countering North Korean missile.

The Trump administration recently completed its review of what it is describing as the United States' first "major" and "comprehensive" review of the United States' missile defense policies and capabilities since 2010.

"As we know, one of the key Russian claims against the U.S.is that it is continuing developing drones, which in principle fall within the restrictions under the INF Treaty", Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev told Russia's state news service TASS. A Russian politician blasted what he considered US attempts to use the threat regarding the INF treaty to affect other potential agreements on missile defense.

"We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States, and we will never negotiate away our right to do this", Trump said Thursday.

Trump is set to deliver his speech as North Korean officials are en route to the United States to potentially discuss a second summit with Kim Jong Un, according to South Korean media.

On the Far Side of the Moon, Cotton Grows
Once Chang'e-4 touched down, the ground control center instructed the probe to water the seeds, Xinhua reported . The Chang'e 4 is the first mission to land on and explore the Moon's far side, facing away from Earth.

US officials, including Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, believe a space-based sensor layer could help detect missiles moving at hypersonic speeds.

Pentagon officials contend that United States missiles defenses are too few to be able to counter a first-strike on the USA homeland by a major nuclear power like Russian Federation or China.

For Trump, who is trying to revive efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal, the report's release came at an awkward moment.

U.S. President Donald Trump is due to unveil a revamped American missile defense strategy that looks at ways to boost America's security, including by possibly deploying a new layer of space-based sensors. "We have the best anywhere in the world; it's not even close", Trump stressed.

The release of the strategy was postponed past year for unexplained reasons, though it came as Trump was trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump will be accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, national security adviser John Bolton, and senior military and defense officials.

It was unclear as to what extent the report would single out North Korea. North Korea has not conducted any missile or nuclear bomb tests since then.

Officials say the doctrine, initially expected in 2017, has been frequently rewritten to keep up with changing missile threats posed by North Korea, China, Russia and Iran.

The report underscored that point, saying: "The United States relies on deterrence to protect against large and technically sophisticated Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile threats to the U.S. homeland". Iran, meanwhile, has continued to develop more sophisticated ballistic missiles, increasing their numbers and their capabilities.

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