Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin warned Congress the USA is falling behind China on hypersonic cruise missile. (Video and transcript from C-Span, from 14 to 17 minutes in the video)
China has fielded or can field … hypersonic delivery systems for conventional prompt strike that reach out thousands of kilometers from the Chinese shore and hold our carrier battle groups or our forward deployed forces … at risk,” Griffin told SASC’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee last Wednesday
Griffin’s wants to invest as much as possible into the development of new military systems that could help offset the capability gap presented by China and Russia’s hypersonic weapons. The Navy will hot-load F-35s on field expedient airstrips inside carrier-denied areas, adding conformal fuel tanks to Super Hornets with Block III upgrades, and add carrier-capable drone refuelers to the nation’s fleet.
“Our adversaries have taken advantage of what I have referred to as a holiday for the United States,” Griffin said Wednesday about America’s victory in the Cold War and subsequent stagnation in defense technologies.
“China has understood fully how to be a superpower,” Griffin said. “We gave them the playbook and they are executing.”
There is a 49-page report that describes the US programs and efforts to develop hypersonic weapons for the past two decades. Congressional Research Service – Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues by Amy F. Woolf Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy April 6, 2018
Lockheed was recently awarded a $928 million contract to develop hypersonic missiles. The US will more than double spending on hypersonic weapons as Russia and China have deployed or will soon deploy rockets tipped with hypersonic missiles.
US also worried about non-hypersonic long-range air launched missiles>B
Images have surfaced on Chinese social media which show China’s Air Force’s Xian H-6 bomber converted to carry the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile.
The H-6 has a 3700 mile range.The DF-21D has a range estimated between 1,035 to 1,726 miles.
The DF-26 is a development of the DF-21 with range increased to 3,000 km (1,900 mi) to 4,000 km (2,500 mi); its existence was confirmed in the mid-2010s but it had already been in service for several years.