Advanced US weapons earmarked for Asia-Pacific

10:12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, – The US will continue to invest in future weapons systems especially relevant to the Asia-Pacific’s complex and dynamic security environment as part of its rebalance to the region, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.

These include high-end capabilities such as a new, long-range stealth bomber and a new, long-range anti-ship cruise and investments in areas like rapid runway repair, he said in a speech on Monday at the Arizona State University.

“We’re also working on new weapons like a railgun, which uses electromagnetic forces rather than high explosives to fire rounds at much higher speeds, lower cost and with greater effectiveness.

And we’re developing new space, electronic warfare, and other advanced capabilities, including some surprising ones,” he said.

Carter said Asia-Pacific is the defining region in America’s future.

He said the US would deploy its most advanced technology to the Pacific, including its newest air and naval assets.

“And given the region’s growing missile threat, we are forward deploying two additional Aegis missile defense-equipped ships,” he said.

But while the rebalance to the region has a military component it also has an economic component, he said.

The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing economic growth and the United States must have access to those markets, Carter said.

In particular he mentioned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade deal between the US, Canada and 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, expected to increase US exports by $125 billion in the next decade.

“In terms of our rebalance in the broadest sense, passing TPP is as important to me as another aircraft carrier,” he said.

“Some people would have you believe that China will displace America in the Asia-Pacific or that its economic growth will somehow squeeze out opportunities,” he said.  
“But I reject the zero-sum thinking that China’s gain is our loss because there is another scenario in which everyone wins, and it is a continuation of the decades of peace and stability anchored by a strong American role, in which all Asia-Pacific countries continue to rise and prosper, including China. This is the scenario we seek in the ongoing rebalance.”

Many observers are concerned about the scope of China’s military modernization efforts, its actions in cyberspace and Chinese behavior in the East and South China Seas, the secretary said.

“These are concerns we raise with our Chinese counterparts on a regular basis,” he said.

The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) guided missile destroyer the lead ship of her class, being fitted out at Bath Iron Works. The Zumwalt's shape is intended to reduce the radar cross section to look like a fishing boat.

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