Pentagon Uses Russia, China Missile Tests to Boost Spending

© Lockheed MartinConcept drawing of a hypersonic aircraft
Concept drawing of a hypersonic aircraft - Sputnik International
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The US Department of Defense is apparently trying to secure funding for its program aimed at tackling hypersonic missiles by employing one of the oldest tricks in its playbook – referencing the non-existent threat from Russia and China.

An S-400 air defence missile system at the Hmeymim airbase - Sputnik International
This is Why Russia's S-500 Air Defense System Makes Pentagon Nervous
Vice Adm. James Syring, the director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA), has recently told the US House Armed Services Committee that the MDA lacks such an initiative.

Syring also said that the MDA needs at least $23 million to develop a "low-power laser"to intercept advanced highly maneuverable, ultra-fast and elusive weapons like the ones that are currently under development in Russia and China. The laser could be tested no sooner than 2021.

US lawmakers now want the MDA "to develop and field a defensive system to defeat boost-glide and maneuvering ballistic missiles." This amendment was added to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 that still needs to pass through the Congress.

DF-ZF - Sputnik International
Russia’s, China’s Real Hypersonic Gliders Able to Break US THAAD System
The initiative came after Russia and China successfully tested hypersonic glide vehicles in April. Defense analyst Bill Gertz referred to them as "revolutionary."

Russia test launched the Yu-71 hypersonic glider using an RS-18A (NATO codename: SS-19 Stiletto) strategic ballistic missile from a missile deployment area in the Orenburg Region in the country's east. The weapon is said to have a maximum speed of 11,200 kmh (7,000 mph). Unconfirmed reports suggest that it could enter service by 2025.

"Hypersonics is one of the areas where the Chinese and the Russians appear to be ahead of the US," former military intelligence officer Larry Wortzel told the Washington Free Beacon. "This comes at a time when there is little progress on directed energy weapons for the US."

Russia's cutting-edge S-500 missile defense system is said to be capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles among other things.

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