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The US seeks to enhance its sensor technology. The head of the Missile Defense Agency wants the Pentagon to improve its sensors to combat new missile technology coming from Russia and China. The Missile Defense Agency has been advocating for sending a layer of sensors into space to respond to increasingly sophisticated missile technologies currently being developed by U.S. adversaries. Space sensors would attempt to fill the gaps within the current layer of terrestrial sensors operated by the Department of Defense, according to

During a hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves expressed concern about hypersonic missiles, which would travel at least five times the speed of sound. “The hypersonic threat is real and it’s coming … It’s just a matter of time before [Russia and China] have fully developed that capability,” he said. “The concern is that technology leaking into the space that we have to deal with, rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.”

But the first step to defending against such a threat, according to Greaves, is better sensors.

“Once you develop an acceptable robust sensing architecture, then the other side of the equation is the interceptor piece,” Greaves said. “Do we need a new faster interceptor to combat the hypersonic threat?”

To respond to the increasing threat from hypersonic missile technology the MDA is requesting $120 million in fiscal 2019 for hypersonic missile defense, a significant increase in the agency’s funding for this area.