Jon Hill Director MDA

Vice Adm. Jon Hill on MDA’s Move to Pause Defensive Hypersonic Missile Design Program

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said MDA has decided to delay the defensive hypersonic missile design effort to focus on near-term options, Defense News reported Tuesday.

“One of the reasons we took the pause and said, ‘We’ll get back to you later in the year,’ is we want to see what we can do in the very near-term, and I’ll define the near-term as the mid-20s, and then feed the science and technology investments going so you can get to that farther-term, more elegant solution,” Hill said Tuesday at the virtual Space and Missile Defense Symposium.

He noted that various technologies could help the agency achieve the “glide phase” capability for the hypersonic defense weapon system, including propulsion and different types of effectors and warheads.

MDA released in late January a draft request for proposals to develop prototypes for the Hypersonic Defense Regional Glide Phase Weapon System. An updated notice posted in July says MDA is reviewing the final solicitation for the program and expects to finalize the assessment by the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2021.

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