In a recent interview, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley commented on China's testing of hypersonic weapons, likening the event to the launch of Sputnik by the Russians at the beginning of the Space Race.
China grabbed the attention of governments across the world, not least in the United States, when reports emerged suggesting that they had conducted testing of two hypersonic weapons over the summer, including one capable of carrying a nuclear weapon into space.
According to Bloomberg, the technology could be used by China to bypass the American anti-missile system via the South Pole, and thus it has caused many within the Biden administration to take note.
Milley expressed his concern in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment," he said, "but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention." He went on to acknowledge that "over the next 10, 20, 25 years ... the biggest geo-strategic challenge to the United States is gonna be China."
Following Gen. Milley's comments, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby added that the US is pursuing similar technology, and that hypersonic weapons are "not a technology that is alien to" the US military.