The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has a request for $9.9 billion in 2019. Part of the request is $120 million to develop hypersonic missile defenses, a big increase from the $75 million in fiscal 2018.
"China's hypersonic weapons development outpaces ours … we're falling behind," Adm. Harry Harris, who heads the military's Pacific Command, warned lawmakers Wednesday.
China has developed — and last year tested — a new type of hypersonic missile called the DF-17. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week stated China "has tested a hypersonic glide vehicle."
The budget appeal comes just months after Chinese state media reports it had successfully tested hypersonic warheads and was now moving on to full-scale production.