China and Russia are trying to close the technology gap with the US military and developing weapons systems that appear designed to counter traditional US advantages, the United States has warned.
“While the United States currently has a decisive military and technological edge over any potential adversary, our future superiority is not a given,” US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a defense industry forum in Newport, Rhode Island, on Wednesday.
Moscow and Beijing have tested a string of sophisticated weapons, from radar-evading aircraft and anti-ship missiles that fly many times the speed of sound, to integrated air defenses, Reuters reported.
While the Pentagon’s spending of around US$500 billion is still more than the next six or seven countries combined, research and development spending has fallen more than 20 percent since President Barack Obama took office, the report said.
In contrast, China and Russia have been rapidly increasing their security spending and have passed new technological milestones in recent years.
“China and Russia have been trying to close the technology gap by pursuing and funding long-term, comprehensive military modernization programs,” Hagel said.
“They are also developing anti-ship, anti-air, counter-space, cyber, electronic warfare and special operations capabilities that appear designed to counter traditional US military advantages.”
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