How super-fast missiles will change the way we think about defence strategy

China’s DF-17 is likely to be the first hypersonic boost-glide system to enter military service, but other hypersonic weapons will soon follow, both unpowered and powered.

If the proliferation of such systems and its impact are to be managed, arms-control measures will be needed. However, demanding enough within a stable security architecture, arms control is far more difficult when the supporting structures are already collapsing, as shown by the failure of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty; arguably it also becomes the more valuable.