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.