(Washington) China reportedly tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile in orbit on Saturday. Financial times.
An article in the British Business and Economic Daily quoted a number of test sources as saying that the nuclear-capable missile launched by Beijing in August orbited the Earth in low orbit before landing at its target, indicating that it had failed. For all three sources.
Sources of Financial times The hypersonic glider was not flown by a Long March rocket, whose experiments were generally announced, but the August test was kept secret.
China’s progress on hypersonic weapons “surprises US intelligence,” according to the report.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not comment on the details of the article, but said, “We have made clear our concerns about China’s ongoing military development, which will only exacerbate tensions in the region and beyond. This is one reason why we see China as our first stimulus challenge.”
In addition to Beijing, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries are working on hypersonic technology.
Hypersonic missiles, like conventional ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, can fly at five times the speed of sound.
Ballistic missiles fly high in space by making an arc to hit their target, while the hypersonic missile takes a shorter trajectory in the atmosphere and reaches its target faster.
Importantly, the hypersonic missile is maneuverable (very slow, often like a subsonic cruise missile), making it more difficult to follow and counter.
Countries such as the United States have developed systems designed to protect against cruise and ballistic missiles, but the ability to track and fire a hypersonic missile is unknown.
According to a recent report released by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), China has dangerously developed this technology to protect itself against US advances in hypersonic and other technologies.
As US-Chinese tensions escalated and Beijing stepped up military operations near Taiwan, Washington-aligned autonomous democracy was reported to be awaiting China’s reunification.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request from AFP for comment. Financial times.