China Tested New Space Capability With Hypersonic Missile: Report

China Tested New Space Capability With Hypersonic Missile: Report

China has tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile, according to the Financial Times (FT).
The report, citing several sources close to the test, said on Saturday that Beijing launched the nuclear-capable missile in August.

The missile circled the Earth in low orbit before rushing towards its target, according to the sources, “demonstrating an advanced space capability which took US intelligence by surprise.”

Three people with intelligence told the FT that the missile missed its target by more than 20 miles.

However, two of them said that “the test showed that China has made astonishing progress on hypersonic weapons and is far more advanced than US officials believed.”

FT sources said the hypersonic glide vehicle was carried by a Long March rocket, the launches of which are usually announced by China, although the August test was kept under wraps.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he would not comment on the details of the report.

But he added, “We have made clear our concerns about the military capabilities that China continues to pursue, capabilities that only increase tensions in the region and beyond. This is one of the reasons we see China as our number one stimulus challenge. “

Along with China, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries are working on hypersonic technology.

Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound.

But ballistic missiles fly high in space in an arc to hit their target, while a hypersonic flies on a low trajectory in the atmosphere, potentially hitting a target faster.

Importantly, a hypersonic missile is maneuverable, which makes it more difficult to track and fight.

While countries like the United States have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, the ability to track and shoot down a hypersonic missile remains questionable.

China has aggressively developed the technology, seeing it as crucial in defending itself against US gains in hypersonic and other technologies, according to a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The reported test comes as US-Chinese tensions have escalated and Beijing has stepped up military activities near Taiwan, the self-governing democracy aligned with the United States that Beijing sees as a separatist province.


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