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China’s recent test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile took the Pentagon by surprise. Beijing was able to fire a missile from a hypersonic glide vehicle as it traveled at least five times the speed of sound.

  • Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle (USAF, Ret.), president of the National Defense Industrial Association and former commander of Air Combat Command, said these missiles are a major challenge to the United States’ defense system because they can come from any direction.
  • Carlisle said it is “extremely concerning” that China is ahead with hypersonics technology and said the U.S. needs to be faster and less risk-averse.
  • He said all of the military services have a role in missile defense but the Space Force’s use of space tracking will be particularly critical.

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