Washington is also working on stealth aircraft, unmanned platforms and long-range precision weapons, Lloyd Austin said.

The secretary of the US Department of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced this Saturday that his country is very close to creating the first prototypes of lasers that can be used against missiles.

“We are about to deliver prototype high-energy lasers that can counter missiles . And we are developing integrated sensors that operate at the intersection of cyber, electronic warfare, and radar communications,” the Pentagon chief said during his speech at the Shangri-la Dialogue international conference , which is being held these days in Singapore.

In parallel, Austin reported that Washington is working “hard to develop new capabilities” that allow it to ” deter aggression even more securely . This includes work in the field of stealth aircraft, unmanned platforms, as well as long-range weapons. ” and high precision.

On the other hand, Austin stressed in his speech the importance of the Indo-Pacific for the White House, taking into account that it comprises more than 50% of the globe. “We will defend our interests without hesitation . But we will also work to achieve our vision for this region: increased security, not increased division,” he stressed, assuring that more than 300,000 US troops are deployed in the Indo-Pacific. 

In this sense, he stressed that the request for the Defense budget for fiscal year 2023 includes “one of the largest investments in history” in order to guarantee security in this part of the world. The requested funds include 6.1 billion for the so-called Pacific Deterrence Initiative, aimed at strengthening the multilateral exchange of information and promoting joint exercises with US partners, among other objectives.

As part of the event in Singapore, Austin met his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe. The senior officials discussed issues such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, security on the Korean peninsula and the situation around Taiwan. The Pentagon chief reiterated that Washington remains attached to its one-China commitment , although he spoke out against any unilateral change to the ‘status quo’ .

However, the Pentagon chief insisted to meeting participants that Beijing now “adopts a more coercive and aggressive approach to its territorial claims.” He mainly referred to the situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

“Further west, we see Beijing continuing to harden its position along the border it shares with India. Indo-Pacific countries should not face political intimidation , economic coercion or harassment from maritime militias,” held.

However, after launching these criticisms, the Secretary of Defense reaffirmed that Washington does not support Taiwan ‘s independence and advocated a peaceful resolution of the problem.