Pentagon Seeks Weapons to Counter Hypersonic Missiles

Bill Gertz

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Foreign states are developing high-speed, maneuvering missiles, and the Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command want weapons to counter them, a leading defense contractor involved in missile defense said Monday.

Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs for Lockheed Martin, a major defense contractor, told reporters in a briefing that missiles pose “an accelerating threat, both in numbers and complexity.”

“We’re also seeing advanced threats … hypersonic, maneuvering threats, that are being characterized as directly challenging the capabilities” of the current U.S. ballistic missile defense system, Graham said in a teleconference from Huntsville, Ala.

Current U.S. missile defenses include ship-based Aegis anti-missile systems, ground-based Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, Patriot PAC-3s, and Ground Based Midcourse Defense interceptors deployed in Alaska and California that can counter any North Korean long-range missile attack.

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