ETI Report Calls for Action on Hypersonics Supply Chain


ETI Report Calls for Action on Hypersonics Supply Chain

Senior policy leaders and the nation’s top defense scientists contributed to the report.

Arlington, VA – NDIA’s Emerging Technologies Institute announces the public launch of its newest report, Hypersonics Supply Chains: Securing the Path to the Future, which calls for the Department of Defense to take action on securing its hypersonics supply chain. The report’s launch event will take place virtually at on May 11 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, with the report embargo set to be lifted at 9:00 am that day.

Senior policy leaders and the nation’s top defense scientists contributed to this non-partisan, unclassified report on the major issues at stake in the hypersonics supply chain, which was initiated by Dr. Mark Lewis, former Air Force chief scientist and developed by NDIA ETI staff. 

“The Pentagon's ambitious plans for the deployment of significant hypersonics capabilities are not likely to become a reality unless the supply chain and industrial base issue identified in this report are adequately addressed,” said Dr. Arun Seraphin, executive director of NDIA’s ETI.

Report findings include:

  • The DoD’s commitment to scaling hypersonics has been uneven: alternately a clear priority while other times, ambiguous. Current supply chains, including the manufacturing base, supply of critical materials, testing infrastructure, and workforce are incapable of supporting DoD’s ambitious plans.
  • To rectify this unstable situation, the DoD should provide a consistent demand signal to industry. The current hypersonic manufacturing base is insufficient to support fielding hypersonic systems at scale.
  • The DoD should continue to pursue an air-breathing hypersonic vehicle system as a key element of its development plan
  • The DoD should focus on expediting manufacturing base growth and facilitate the transfer of critical knowledge from more senior hypersonic talent to new talent.
  • The U.S. government should leverage existing international partnerships in hypersonics to secure supply chains. Most importantly, DoD should establish an overarching project agreement with Australia, a close ally and long-time partner on hypersonics.
  • The U.S. government should also look to Canada and Australia to diversify critical raw material supply, which currently relies heavily on China.
  • Lastly, the U.S. should expand testing partnerships with Canada and Australia in order to address testing infrastructure shortages both in the short-term and long-term.


This report offers a set of indepth findings and recommendations on supply chains for hypersonic systems, or maneuvering missiles that fly at least five times the speed of sound or at Mach 5 within the Earth’s atmosphere and that can deliver long-range lethal effects on short time scales. Hypersonics are a central component of the Department of Defense’s modernization efforts. The report is part of  ETI's work on the technical and policy issues that will shape the ability for the US to leverage emerging technologies in support of national security missions.

“This report was built on the extensive knowledge of our NDIA members and government partners,” Seraphin said. “It raises a number of warning flags with respect to the supply chains and industrial base that we will need for the deployment of future hypersonic systems laid out in the ambitious plans of the Pentagon. The report provides concrete and actionable recommendations on how to address some of the areas of concern that were uncovered.”


For queries and an advance copy of the report, please contact Habiba Hamid on

Please join us virtually on May 11 from 1:00-3:00 pm for our public report launch, where the lead author, Rebecca Wostenberg will present key findings and recommendations from the report. Register here: The report can also be found here:

Speakers and panelists at the launch event include: Dr. Arun Seraphin, Executive Director, NDIA Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI), Dr. Charles D. Ormsby, Chief of the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Air Force Research Laboratory, The Hon.David L. Norquist, President & CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado, 5th Congressional District, Dr. Mark Lewis, CEO of the Purdue Applied, Research Institute LLC, Rebecca Wostenberg, Research Fellow, NDIA Emerging Technologies Institute, Sharon Weinberger, National Security Editor, Wall Street Journal, Marty Hunt, Vice President of Dynetics, and Jason A. Fischer, Northrop Grumman Market Area Lead (High Speed Tactical Booters).

About ETI  
NDIA’s Emerging Technology Institute was founded in 2021 to provide leadership, bolster public awareness, and create independent, reliable research about the technologies critical to our nation's economy and national defense. A champion for emerging technologies in its first two years of operations,  ETI produces numerous studies and monthly webinars including ETI’s Tech 101 series as well as the Emerging Tech Horizons podcast series on critical topics ranging from hypersonics to digital engineering to energetics. Looking ahead, ETI is part of a larger NDIA team working with Undersecretaries Heidi Shyu and William LaPlante on a major Emerging Technologies Conference to be held August 28th to the 30th in Washington, DC.

Topics: Emerging Technologies

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit