China recently tested a new hypersonic high-speed strike vehicle and left the Pentagon feeling concerned over their new missile defenses. The Pentagon is paying close attention to the advancements the Chinese military has made over the past few years.
The Washington Free Beacon reported, “Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing that he is concerned by large-scale cuts in U.S. defense spending that are undermining efforts to maintain U.S. military superiority.”
“On hypersonics, this is a good example of an area of technology that is going to move forward whether we invest in it or not,” Kendall told a hearing on the United States shift toward Asia. “China is doing work in this area.”
“The Pentagon is investing some resources in two forms of hypersonic arms: a ballistic missile boost glide vehicle and a jet powered, atmospheric cruise missile, he said.
“Kendall said the threat of such hypersonic vehicles to the United States is that they are difficult for missile defenses to counter. The vehicles travel and maneuver while flying at speeds of up to Mach 10 or 7,680 miles an hour.”
One of the Pentagon’s primary concerns is that the hypersonic, high-speed missiles make it difficult for air defenses to engage.
The Washington Free Beacon continued, “Kendall, in testimony on the Obama administration’s so-called “pivot” to Asia, said the Chinese development of hypersonic strike weapons is an area of technology that is likely to outpace U.S. efforts in the future.”
“When I spoke earlier about feeling reasonably comfortable where we are today [with arms technology] but not necessarily so comfortable five or 10 years from not, this is one of the technologies that would be on that list of things that in five or 10 years we might have a much bigger problem with then,” Kendall said.”