The Pentagon is growing increasingly concerned about China’s recent test of a new ultra-high speed strike vehicle that suggests the Chinese military is investing more in its military apparatus and its advances will eventually overtake current United States military technology if Congress continues to cut the military budget.
Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, warned during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that there is concern regarding the large-scale cuts in U.S. defense spending, according to the Free Beacon.
Kendell said the U.S. is undermining efforts to maintain U.S. military superiority.
“On hypersonics, this is a good example of an area of technology that is going to move forward whether we invest in it or not,” Kendall said at the hearing, which focused on the U.S. shift toward Asia. “China is doing work in this area.”
The Pentagon is investing some resources in two forms of hypersonic arms: a ballistic missile boost glide vehicle and a jet powered, atmospheric cruise missile, Kendell said during the hearing.
He noted that threat of hypersonic vehicles to the U.S. is that they are difficult for missile defenses to counter and the vehicles travel and maneuver while flying at speeds of up to Mach 10 or 7,680 miles an hour.
“The high speed of these systems makes it much more difficult for air defenses to engage,” he told lawmakers.