MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has pledged that the United States would add hypersonic weapons to its military arsenal faster than was expected.
“We are going to fly [hypersonics] sooner and more often than people have ever expected,” the CNBC quoted the official as telling reporters on Wednesday.
The remark was reportedly meant to offset the announcements by Russia and China on the developments in their hypersonic programs.
In August, Beijing said that it had successfully tested its first hypersonic aircraft that could carry nuclear warheads and outperform any anti-missile defense system existing today.
In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled Moscow’s new hypersonic missile during his state-of-the-nation address.
Hypersonic weapons travel at the speed of over Mach 5 (3,800 miles per hour), which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound.