DoD’s Mark Lewis: Risk-Taking Key to Successful Hypersonic Efforts

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Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis DoD

Mark Lewis, director of defense research and engineering for modernization at the Department of Defense (DoD), has said the department needs to modify its operational mindset to meet its hypersonic program goals, DoD News reported Tuesday.

Lewis said at a Hudson Institute-hosted discussion that the DoD needs to accept more risks in developing and testing new technologies such as hypersonic missiles and boost/glide systems. According to Lewis, programs with more consecutive testing activities will enable the DoD to prevent the loss of knowledge and talent.

"We need to be less risk-averse. And that doesn't mean we seek to maximize risk. But it also means we're not afraid to take risks, or we're not afraid to fail, as long as they're what I term noble failures," he added. "We learn as we're doing. We're not constantly relearning how to do what we used to know how to do."

Lewis noted that he expects the DoD to deliver hypersonic systems at scale by the mid-2020’s.

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