Army Secretary and 2020 Wash100 winner Ryan McCarthy has said the Department of Defense needs to establish a low-Earth orbit defense infrastructure and joint command-and-control system to effectively counter hypersonic threats, Defense.gov reported Friday.
McCarthy told attendees at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event that hypersonic weapons are an emerging threat to national security and the military branches' means of deploying such technologies will remain "very different".
According to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, hypersonics research and development should be a joint effort among the services. She noted that developing hypersonics technology separately would result in "duplications and inefficiencies that we couldn't afford."
Thomas Modly, acting secretary of the U.S. Navy, said mitigating supply chain risks should also be a concern for the defense sector. He noted that small businesses should consider making big investments in information technology security.
McCarthy added that the U.S. should be particularly concerned about the procurmeent of weapons components such as semiconductors.
"We really don't make those in America anymore, and they're in everything," he said.