Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress Updated [October 19, 2021]   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Introduction: "The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons as a part of its conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) program since the early 2000s. In recent years, it has focused such efforts on hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles with shorter and intermediate ranges for use in regional conflicts. Although funding for these programs has been relatively restrained in the past, both the Pentagon and Congress have shown a growing interest in pursuing the development and near-term deployment of hypersonic systems. This is due, in part, to advances in these technologies in Russia and China, leading to a heightened focus in the United States on the strategic threat posed by hypersonic flight. Open-source reporting indicates that both China and Russia have conducted numerous successful tests of hypersonic glide vehicles and likely fielded an operational capability. [...] This report was delivered to Congress in July 2019. Similarly, Section 1689 of the FY2019 NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to produce a report on 'how hypersonic missile defense can be accelerated to meet emerging hypersonic threats.' The findings of these reports could hold implications for congressional authorizations, appropriations, and oversight."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45811
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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