It has been nearly a year since China shocked the Pentagon with a hypersonic glider vehicle test. The test traveled around the globe and landed only two dozen miles away from its target.
Fox News’ Sen. Angus King stated that the significance of the incident was “it scared everybody.” “If the thing are dwelling over Kansas City, then you’re talking about reducing 15 to 20% to two to three mins. This is a qualitative shift.
Officials at the Pentagon called it a “Sputnik moment” because the Chinese outpaced the U.S. using a technology capable of evading billions of dollars in missile defense. This set off an arms race.
Hypersonic weapons can travel at speeds up to Mach 5 and are extremely maneuverable. They can also change course during flight, so they are undetected 100 feet above the ocean.
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In Zhejiang, east China, a soldier inspects the missiles of an aircraft fighter during a training session. This was in August 2021. (Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images).
Fox News exclusive interview: Sen. King, I.Maine, who chairs Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces said that the U.S. is still behind its rivals.
Maine senator John McCain blames the U.S. fear for failure. This is different than adversaries like China.
King stated that “we’re probably five years behind the Chinese” and was not sure why. They don’t mind failing tests. We believe that every test must be successful and we have to do it right. They’ve had a lot of failures and each one taught them something.
Nearly every public hearing King asked the Pentagon why it doesn’t invest more in hypersonic technology.
King stated that “Frankly, we are just beaten by the Chinese and Russians.” “If our strategy for the Pacific is built upon aircraft carriers, and an airplane carrier is vulnerable to missiles of 6,000 miles per hour, then we are in trouble.”
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In June , the U.S. reported a failed weapons test. The Pentagon announced that a full hypersonic system mounted atop a two stage missile booster failed to detach from the rocket and reached Mach 5 speeds at a Pacific Missile Range Facility testing site in Hawaii.
The Pentagon announced two successful hypersonic test results on Tuesday, days after the announcement of the failed test. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA), conducted one of these tests in May. It was the first time that a ground-based hypersonic booster-glide system could be launched from a standard military truck at White Sands Missile Facility, New Mexico.
The Air Force recently tested a hypersonic missile that could be launched from the wings of a B52 strategic jet fighter.
After its booster rocket veered off control, the experimental X-43A crashed during the first of three planned tests. Space scientists had to destroy the unmanned aircraft high above the Pacific Ocean. (NASA via Getty Images).
Russian scientists ridiculed the U.S. hypersonic vehicle test failure last week. They said that the U.S. design for hypersonic weapons was “too complicated.” The new defense bill will provide $292 million to help fund hypersonic research and development.
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Sen. King likens hypersonic weapons with the introduction of longbows, which helped the British defeat the French at the Battle of Agincourt 1415. And the stirrup which allowed Ghenghis Khan’s soldiers to control their shot from the top of a horse.
King stated that technological developments often decide the outcome of conflicts. “And hypersonic to me are the game-changing strategic distinction in any future conflict this country is involved in. We’re still behind.
John Plumb, the first assistant secretary for defense for space policy, agreed to this at a confirmation hearing in January.
Plumb responded to Sen. King’s January question, “It certainly seems that we are behind.”
The outgoing Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman General John Hyten raised the alarm about the U.S. losing its hypersonic race in November.
Biden will request $715 billion to fund his first Pentagon budget. This is a signal of efforts to deter China or Russia by developing hypersonic weapons, bolstering the U.S. Navy fleet and ballistic missile submarines. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images).
Realizing the danger these weapons pose to the U.S. military has had to resort hot air balloons as an early warning system in order to protect the country from hypersonic missile defense systems that can now be evaded by U.S. forces. Next year’s defense budget will include $27.1 million to fund this balloon defense.
Officials from the Pentagon have rebutted the claim that the U.S. is “behind,” and pointed out that U.S. missiles and its vast nuclear arsenal are already hypersonic. This means that they fly five times faster that sound. At a November press conference, Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, was asked if the Chinese hypersonic test was a “Sputnik moment.”
Austin stated, “Well, these are terms I wouldn’t use.”
Austin scoffed when asked why the Chinese were able to field medium-range hypersonic weapons while the U.S. could not.
Austin stated, “I don’t know if they used those weapons but they’re testing them.”