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DOD Officials, Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges in Hypersonic Weapons Development

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Top officials from the Department of Defense have hosted a virtual round-table meeting with chief executives of 14 U.S. defense companies to discuss challenges facing the development of hypersonic and counter-hypersonic weapons systems.

Defense Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks, a Wash100 Award recipient, chaired the industry round-table meeting where industry executives discussed issues in hypersonic weapons development, such as constraints in supply chain and production capacity, access to test facilities, talent shortages and government acquisition barriers, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The U.S. military lacks wide-open spaces on its missile test ranges for a thorough evaluation of new hypersonic weapons and is in need of upgraded modeling and simulation systems to test future adversarial threats, according to a private report from DOD’s test office obtained by Bloomberg News.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, joined the meeting, which included a question-and-answer session with CEOs moderated by Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and a fellow 2022 Wash100 awardee.

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