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Agency AJN.- Congressman Doug Lamborn raised concerns this week that the United States is falling behind adversaries China and Russia in manufacturing and testing hypersonic missiles.

“As a country, we’re behind China, and even Russia, and this is not a good situation,” Lamborn said, adding that hypersonics are “a whole new type of offensive capability, and we’re behind, for sure.”

Lamborn’s concerns were echoed by US academics and weapons experts, who participated in the “National Security at the Speed ​​of Sound: Hypersonics in American Defense”, sponsored by Raytheon Industries.

Hypersonic missiles are weapons that have the ability to travel at five times the speed of sound, approximately 6,500 kilometers per hour. They are designed to be so fast that other defense technologies cannot react in time to prevent attacks.

Russian hypersonic missile.

Lamborn, the ranking member on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, said the United States must accelerate its testing capabilities to catch up with other nations. In addition, he specifically pointed to the HBTSS satellites, which could track the hypersonic weapons of China and other countries.

“Right now, we don’t have the ability to adequately cover tracking and even fire control when it comes to hypersonic vehicles. We need to have the sensor layers in space,” Lamborn added to The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack.

Lamborn was joined by Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), chairman of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Ground Forces, who was more optimistic about congressional support for the Defense Department’s hypersonic strategy.

“The hypersonic is a cause for concern, there is no doubt. But I think given where we are right now and the progress we’ve made, we’re going to be able to meet the deadlines that the department set,” Norcross said.

Image of the hypersonic missile created by the United States DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

Norcross also stated that while hypersonics are crucial, there are several ways to counter China’s and Russia’s defense advances.

Defense experts Mark Lewis, director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Institute for Emerging Technologies, and Kelly Stephani, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, agreed with Lamborn.

“The country that worries me the most is China. Their systems are much more in line with what we might expect in terms of combat capabilities in that part of the world. We see what appear to be very capable systems in the hands of the Chinese,” Lewis said.

Along the same lines, Cusack asked Stephani if ​​she sees China ahead of the United States in these technological advances, to which she categorically replied: “Yes.”

Us Successfully Conducts Two Hypersonic Missile Launch Tests

Test launch of a hypersonic missile in the US DARPA

“We challenge our members of Congress, and the nation in general, to recognize this threat, and act accordingly. We have limited time, and it’s something we have to focus on,” Stephani said.

Lewis closed the conversation by providing his vision on what he considers the impact of not having this technology in times of war.

“Every time we did war games in certain settings around the world, we found that when the United States faced an opponent that had developed hypersonic capabilities, if we didn’t have that capability, we lost. This has to be a priority if we want to be successful in future fighting.”

Fuente: The Hill.

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