OREANDA-NEWS  Retired major General Howard Thompson is former Chief of staff, North American aerospace defense Command (NORAD). He said that Russia and China "far ahead" of the United States in the development of hypersonic weapons. He wrote about this in an article for the Hill.

The author refers to the report of the Mitchell Institute for aerospace research, which states that hypersonic weapons will provide "unprecedented rapid coverage, global access to targets and a "fourth dimension effect". It is noted that its appearance means the obsolescence of existing air defense systems.

According to Thompson, it may not be obvious to American politicians that hypersonic weapons can give advantages to Russia and China, which are far advanced in their development and research. The retired major General cites as an example the tests of the newest missile complex "Avangard", which were held in Russia in December last year. According to him, the speed of the rocket allegedly exceeded the speed of sound by 27 times.

Thompson adds that currently the United States does not have such potential. "The harsh reality is that our current missile defense systems, as well as our operational thinking, are simply unable to counter this threat," he said. In his opinion, the confrontation will require the US to invest in a "vast defensive architecture”.

In December 2018, the U.S. court of accounts issued a report stating that the United States was unable to defend itself against hypersonic weapons from Russia and China. Fox News channel noted that the Pentagon is trying to overcome the backlog. For example, in April, Lockheed Martin received a contract to create a prototype of hypersonic weapons worth $1.3 billion.