China’s hypersonic weapons test in July included technological advances that would allow missiles to be launched when approaching a target at at least five times the speed of sound. This is an ability that no country has ever demonstrated.
According to people familiar with the information, Pentagon scientists are surprised by the advancement that allowed a supersonic glide vehicle, a maneuverable spacecraft capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, to launch another missile over the South China Sea. I was killed.
Experts at the Pentagon’s advanced research institute, Darupa, are uncertain about how China has overcome physics constraints by launching countermeasures from vehicles traveling at hypersonic speeds. People familiar with the details of the demo said.
Military experts have pondered test-related data to understand how China acquired the technology. They are also discussing the purpose of the projectiles launched by hypersonic aircraft, which have no clear target of their own, before diving into the water.
Some Pentagon experts believe that the projectile is an air-to-air missile. Some believe that destroying the missile defense system to prevent hypersonic weapons from being shot down during the war was a countermeasure.
Russia and the United States have also pursued hypersonic weapons for years, but experts say that the firing of countermeasures is the latest evidence that China’s efforts are significantly ahead of Kremlin and the Pentagon. Is called.
The White House declined to comment on countermeasures, but said it was concerned about the July 27 test, first reported by the Financial Times last month.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council said, “We are concerned because this development should be the case for all who seek peace and stability both inside and outside the region.” “This is also based on our concerns about the many military forces of the People’s Republic of China. Continue to pursue.. “
The NSC added that the United States “continues to maintain its ability to defend and deter various threats” from China.
What is a hypersonic glide vehicle?
There are two types of hypersonic weapons. The first is a highly manoeuvrable missile propelled by an engine. The second is the glide vehicle.
Hypersonic glide vehicles, unlike the Space Shuttle, are spacecraft that are launched into orbit by rockets. It then re-enters the atmosphere and flies toward its target at more than five times the speed of sound.
The HGV can function as a conventional weapon by using its speed to destroy the target with an impact. However, China is developing an HGV that can carry a nuclear warhead.
Pentagon officials are becoming more and more public with concerns about the July test. The hypersonic glide vehicle is “Orbital bombing system “rocket It can fly over the South Pole and puts weapons out of reach of the US missile defense system, which focuses on the threat of ballistic missiles passing over the North Pole.
The orbital bombing system provides China with more ways to reach its US goals. Moscow deployed a system called the “Fractional Orbital Bombing System” during the Cold War, but it was not very advanced and did not have a maneuverable hypersonic glide vehicle.
US officials are well aware that China is ahead of the Pentagon in hypersonic weapons. However, tests on July 27 showed that the PLA rocket army is making even faster progress than many expected. This was reinforced by Beijing’s successful combination of orbital systems and hypersonic weapons capable of launching missiles.
Hypersonic tests are conducted in a way that suggests that China is rapidly expanding its nuclear force. Abandon “minimal deterrence” The attitude that it has maintained for decades.The United States recently said it would do Quadruple nuclear warheads with at least 1,000 weapons The last 10 years.
The Chinese embassy said it “did not know” the missile test.
“We have no interest in the arms race with other countries,” said Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the embassy. “In recent years, the United States has created excuses like the’China threat’to justify the expansion and development of hypersonic weapons. “
Beijing rejected the first disclosure of the FT’s hypersonic weapons test and said it was a reusable spacecraft test instead. However, according to people familiar with both launches, the spacecraft was tested 11 days before the hypersonic weapons test. The FT also reported that China conducted another hypersonic weapons test on August 13.
General David Thompson, Deputy Secretary of Space Operations for the US Space Force, said the United States is “not as advanced” as China and Russia in hypersonic weapons.
“We are catching up with what we do very quickly. The Chinese have been running incredibly aggressive hypersonic programs for several years,” Thompson told the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday. Told.
General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently conducted a weapons test.The moment of SputnikA reference to the Soviet Union, which first installed the satellite in space in 1957.
Defense Minister Lloyd Austin said this week that he would not use the same language. But earlier this week, General John Heiten, who was preparing to retire as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed serious concern.
“Sputnik has brought a sense of urgency to the United States,” Haiten told CBS News. “The July 27 test didn’t create that urgency. I think it should probably.”
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China’s hypersonic weapons launch missiles over the South China Sea
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