China has tested a hypersonic missile that offers new possibilities in the nuclear field. That reports the business newspaper “Financial Times” based on insiders. According to the report, Beijing secretly conducted the test in August. The missile was orbiting the Earth before descending to its target. According to the sources, the missile eventually landed within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of this target.
Hypersonic missiles can be used to deliver nuclear weapons and travel five times faster than sound. Unlike ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles fly in low-atmospheric orbits, which allows them to reach their target faster.
The United States would have been surprised by China’s advances in hypersonic weapons. In addition to China, the United States itself is also developing hypersonic technology. Russia and at least five other countries are working on this technology. Countries like the United States have developed systems to defend themselves against ballistic and cruise missiles, but they do not yet have the ability to detect and shoot down a hypersonic missile. Like slower cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles are more maneuverable, making them more difficult to track and stop.
The Pentagon, the US Department of Defense, has not yet responded to the Financial Times report.
China sees the development of ultrasonic technology as crucial to defending itself against US advances in this field, according to a recent report from the US Parliament’s Research Institute (CRS).
The test comes at a time when tensions between China and the United States are rising and Beijing is ramping up its military activities near Taiwan. Taiwan separated from mainland China in 1949, is de facto independent and enjoys the support of the United States. China still considers the island a breakaway province.
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