US Strategy For Winning Future Wars Makes Hypersonic Weapons Priority – Mattis

© REUTERS / Yuri GripasU.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures during a press briefing on the campaign to defeat ISIS at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures during a press briefing on the campaign to defeat ISIS at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Development of hypersonic weapons has become a top priority in a range of technological innovations targeted by US military planners to increase the lethality of US forces to a level needed to defeat adversaries in battle, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Congress on Thursday.

"Our 2018 National Defense Strategy also prioritizes investing in technological innovation to increase lethality," Mattis said in prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Cyber, advanced computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, miniaturization, additive manufacturing, directed energy, and hypersonics are the very technologies that we need to fight and win wars of the future."

Military planners have long eyed hypersonic flight at up to five times the speed of sound as a means to defeat conventional missile and air defenses.

READ MORE: US Strategic Command Observed Russia, China Operating Hypersonic Missiles

Image of the Avangard hypersonic system - Sputnik International
US Congressman Complains Russian, Chinese Hypersonic Arms Way Too Strong
Last week, it was announced that the Pentagon signed a one billion dollar deal with Lockheed Martin to design and prototype a new air-launched hypersonic cruise missile for the US Air Force.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia had successfully tested a hypersonic cruise missile.

US Department of Defense researchers responded to Putin’s remarks by announcing that the 2019 defense budget puts the US on track to test a series of hypersonic prototypes in the coming years.

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