Air Force Sec. Frank Kendall Admits U.S. Behind China in Hypersonics After SecDef Disputed It with Matt Gaetz

U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks at the National Press Club on April 1
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Biden administration Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Wednesday admitted to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that the United States is behind China in developing hypersonic weapons, weeks after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin blew up at Gaetz for suggesting that at a hearing.

Kendall told Gaetz during a House Armed Services Committee hearing: “China’s moved to deploy hypersonic weapons more aggressively than the United States has, definitely. They have fielded more capability than we have. And they have fairly aggressive development programs in a number of areas.”

“More aggressive than ours?” Gaetz asked him.

“They have invested more and they are more capable,” Kendall said. “But you have to be very careful about these comparisons.”

Earlier this month, Austin erupted at Gaetz for saying the U.S. was “behind in hypersonics.”

“What do you mean we’re behind in hypersonics? How do you make that assessment?” Austin barked at Gaetz.

“Your own people brief us that we are behind and that China is winning,” Gaetz retorted in the fiery exchange.

Gaetz thanked Kendall and told him that was the opposite of what Austin had told him earlier.

Gaetz tweeted his exchange with Kendall and contrasted it to the response from Austin.

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