US Air Force has $1.2 billion in new hypersonic weapon spending to catch up to Russia and China

The U.S. Air Force this week awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $928 million contract to develop a prototype hypersonic cruise missile, or the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon. The project is one of two hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts the service is pursuing.

US officials have said they fear the US may be lagging behind Russia and China in hypersonics. Russia and China have made hypersonic technologies national programs of record and have made recent advances.

The US Air Force has funding for its Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, known as “Arrow.” According to the fiscal 2019 budget request, the Air Force is asking for roughly $260 million for the Arrow experiment.

The US air force is also working