King: US Lagging In Hypersonic Missile Development

Jul 31, 2019

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing June 20, 2018, in Washington.
Credit Andrew Harnik / Associated Press/file

Maine independent Sen. Angus King told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the United States is falling behind Russia and China in the development of hypersonic missiles.

"This is a very dangerous situation, in my view, that I don’t think - and I am not sounding virtuous here - I don’t think any of us have really, fully, grasped the implications,” King said.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at 6,000 miles an hour, do not show up on radar and the U.S. does not have infrared sensors deployed to adequately track the missiles.

King said the United States must develop defenses against the missiles, and at the same time build its own hypersonic missiles to act as a deterrent.

King 2 “Hypersonic missiles are real. The Russians have one called the Zircon that is proposed to be deployed next year. The Chinese are very close behind. We are woefully inadequate both in terms of developing this capability ourselves, but more particularly in coping with it.”