The US is not “as advanced” in hypersonic technology as Russia and China says Deputy Commander of the US Space Force, Lieutenant General David Thompson, as per newspaper Politico.
“We are not as advanced in hypersonic programs as the PRC or the Russian Federation,” he said at an international security forum in Halifax, Canada. Thompson said that his country is “very quickly catching up” to match Beijing’s capacity in this area.
The deputy commander of the US Space Force later told Politico that the US is determining the type of satellite constellation needed to track hypersonic missiles.
“This is a new challenge, but it’s not that we don’t have an answer to this challenge. We just need to understand it, fully design and launch,” said Lt Gen David. There is no timetable for putting such satellites into orbit, but the US is rapidly changing its approach and timing, he said.
Thompson expressed concern about the impact of the slow and cautious defense procurement process on the competition. “The bureaucracy that we have built … has slowed us down in many areas… the fact that for a couple of decades we did not have to move fast in terms of [having] a competitor with such capabilities, did not encourage us … to act quickly,” said Thompson.
The Pentagon has repeatedly said that the United States has lagged behind Russia and China in the production of hypersonic weapons.
On December 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that Russia, for the first time in history, is ahead of other countries in terms of the development of advanced weapons, including hypersonic ones.