The Defense Department is planning to conduct four tests of hypersonic glide vehicles this year. The Pentagon believes the prototype weapons will progress the National Defense Strategy’s great power competition goals. Anthony Capaccio, defense reporter at Bloomberg News, says that the demonstration tests are intended to show progress to America’s military competitors.
“The last test of any note was in October of 2017. It was a Navy test. Now, this year, the Esper Pentagon will accelerate flight testing of some high-profile systems that the Army, Navy and Air Force are developing. DARPA is also developing. While this is not an arms race at this point, I think it is a message to China that we’re in the game also…” Capaccio said. “The thing that the Pentagon is going to need to do is prep the battlefield. They need to let the public know these are prototypes that could crash and go boom in the night basically. They are not meant to be operationally effective weapons.”