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DoD Tech Head Calls for Boosting US Defense Against Hypersonic Missiles

The Defense Department’s top technology officer has called on the government to expand the country’s missile defense by adding technologies that can counter hypersonic missile threats, USNI News reported Friday.

Michael Griffin, under secretary of defense for research and engineering, said existing sensors and radars are not capable of deflecting such high speed weapons. He cited China and Russia as among the nations already investing heavily in hypersonic missiles. 

The U.S. needs technologies that are “persistent, timely, global” to detect and track the weapon’s low signature in flight, Griffin said.

Griffin also suggested the Missile Defense Agency secure new acquisition authorities to expand the country’s missile defense. He said the MDA should set the pace for the rapid development and procurement of counter-missile technologies, such as lasers and a new satellite constellation in space.

Aside from hypersonic weapons, Griffin warned that unmanned aerial, ground and undersea vehicles may pose threats to U.S. land- and sea-based assets.

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