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DoD Kicks Off Hypersonic Industrial Base Study; Mark Lewis Quoted

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Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis

The Department of Defense has begun a study to identify weaknesses in the industrial base for the development of hypersonic weapons, Defense News reported Monday.

Mark Lewis, director of research and engineering for modernization at DoD, said he and Kevin Fahey, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, are leading a new “hypersonic war room” tasked with identifying “critical nodes” in the supply chain.

“What is the state of our base, is it positioned to produce at the scales we’re anticipating? [There are] a lot of moving parts to that,” Lewis told reporters Monday. “We want to make sure we’re not just at the tier-1 suppliers, but we’re looking at other suppliers necessary to provide at scale.”

He noted that the study group is expected to release an initial report in the next few months and cited the need to further build up the workforce by providing universities with research funds to advance hypersonic development.

The Pentagon requested $3.2B in fiscal 2021 funds to support hypersonic research, development, testing and evaluation work.