But developing hypersonic weapons will only help the United States in solving one part of the problem. The other is ensuring that U.S. missile defense systems will be able to counter an attack by a hypersonic missile — something that is in question.
The administration’s upcoming missile defense review, which is going through the final stages of approval within the Defense Department and is slated for release in May, could address those future challenges.
“Missile defense right now is focused on North Korea. Missile defense is not focused on Russia and China and hasn’t been focused on Russia and China,” Hyten said.
“The missile defense capabilities that we have in Alaska, in California, they can deal with the North Korean threat,” he added. “What I’m worried about is not today, though. I’m worried about five years from now and 10 years from now. Can we move into the direction we need to deal with any threat of the future?”