Russia and China are outpacing the United States in the development of super-fast missile technology, Pentagon officials and key lawmakers are warning. Russia says it successfully tested a so-called hypersonic missile this month, while China tested a similar system last year expected to enter service soon. “Right now, we’re helpless,” Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in advocating for more investment in hypersonics, along with missile defense.
Hypersonics are generally defined as missiles that can fly more than five times the speed of sound. Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, last week described a hypersonic as a missile that starts out “like a ballistic missile, but then it depresses the trajectory and then flies more like a cruise missile or an airplane. So it goes up into the low reaches of space, and then turns immediately back down and then levels out and flies at a very high level of speed.” READ MORE