“The Defense Department is working hard on developing both hypersonic offensive and defensive capabilities. But in the immediate future, one of the most important areas to be developed is increasing the capacity at which such systems can be produced,” said Gillian Bussey, director of the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office.
“I would say that everything we’re doing in terms of the interceptors, the strike weapons isn’t going to make a difference unless we have sufficient quantities,” Bussey said during a discussion today with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Having a dozen hypersonic missiles — regardless of whether they’re really hypersonic or not — isn’t going to scare anyone.”
The biggest technological and industrial capability the department can invest in right now, she said, is to increase production rates, particularly for thermal protection systems for glide vehicles and additive manufacturing for cruise missile engines.
“I think those are the long poles in the tent when it comes to production,” she said. “Those are the things that take the longest. If we can reduce the production time and increase the capacity and you know double, triple, quadruple those production numbers, I think that’s how we’ll really make a difference.”