Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee are eager for the United States to spend money on developing new classified space systems, especially after China launched an anti-satellite missile last month. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Terry Everett (R-Ala.) sent a letter to President Bush, urging to “make substantial efforts … now to avoid technological surprise.” (Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) made a similar case at a Washington forum earlier this week.) In a press statement, Hunter called China’s shootdown of its own satellite “the commencement of a new era of military competition.”
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."