Military-industrial complex finds a growth market in hypersonic weaponry

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An artist’s rendering shows two common designs of “air-breathing” and “boost-glide” hypersonic strike vehicles. This illustration was produced by defense contractor Raytheon and reviewed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. (Rendering courtesy of Raytheon) ( (Rendering courtesy of Raytheon))

At a recent gathering at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, two of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking weapons-buyers sent a clear message to a packed room of defense executives.

America is racing Russia and China to develop a worldwide hypersonic strike weapon that can reach anywhere in the world within hours, they said, and it’s time for American defense contractors to move from science and research to full-scale production of those systems.

Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who is now the deputy secretary of defense, said, “This is really about industrialization, not about science.”

And Michael Griffin, a physicist who is undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said U.S. defense contractors should start preparing to churn out finished hypersonic weapons in the next few years.

The Washington Post

By Aaron Gregg

December 21, 2018


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