The test of hypersonic weapons Realized by China in July it included a technological advance that allowed it to fire a missile as he approached his goal traveling at least five times the speed of sound, an ability that no country had previously demonstrated.
The scientists of the Pentagon were surprised by the advance, which allowed the hypersonic displacement vehicle [HGV, por sus siglas en ingls], a maneuverable spacecraft that can carry a nuclear warhead, shoot a missile separated in mid-flight in the atmosphere over the South China Sea, according to people familiar with intelligence.
Experts from Darpa, the advanced research agency of the Pentagon, they remain unsure how China achieved fire countermeasures from a vehicle traveling to hypersonic speedssaid people familiar with the details of the demonstration.
China increases its nuclear arsenal and lights the alerts at the Pentagon
Military experts have been thoroughly studying the data related to the test to understand how China mastered the technology. They are also debating the purpose of the projectile, which was fired by the hypersonic vehicle without an obvious objective of his own, before diving into the water.
Some Pentagon experts believe the projectile was a air-to-air missile. Others think it was a countermeasure to destroy the missile defense systems, so that they could not bring down the hypersonic weapon in wartime.
Russia and USA they have also chased weapons hypersonic for years, but experts say the launching of countermeasures is the latest proof that China are significantly more advanced than those of the Kremlin or the Pentagon.
The White House declined to comment on the countermeasure, but said she was still concerned about the July 27 test, which she first reported on the Financial times last month.
“This event concerns us, as it should concern all who seek peace and stability in the region and beyond.“said a spokesman for the National Security Council (NSC).” This also adds to our concern about many military capabilities that the People’s Republic of China keep chasing. “
The NSC added that USA “continue to maintain defense and deterrence capabilities against a series of threats” of China.
What is a hypersonic vehicle?
exist two types of hypersonic weapons. The first is a highly maneuverable missile propelled by a motor. The second is a displacement vehicle.
The hypersonic displacement vehicle is a spaceship, similar to the space shuttle, which goes into orbit with a rocket. He then re-enters the atmosphere and flies towards its target at more than five times the speed of sound.
The HGV may act as a conventional weapon using their speed to destroy a target on impact. But China is developing heavy vehicles that can carry nuclear warheads.
China Tried Its New Hypersonic Weapon And A Senior US Military Says A “Sputnik Moment” Is Approaching
The officials of the Pentagon They have made public their concern about the July test. The hypersonic displacement vehicle was propelled into space on an “orbital bombardment system” rocket that can fly over the South Pole, what puts the gun out of reach of US missile defense systems, focused on the threats of ballistic missiles flying over the North Pole.
The orbital bombardment system offers to China more ways to achieve American goals. Moscow deployed a system called “fractional orbital bombardment system” during the cold war, but it was less advanced and did not carry a maneuverable hypersonic displacement vehicle.
US officials are aware that China is ahead of the Pentagon on hypersonic weapons. But the July 27 test showed that the Rocket Force of the People’s Liberation Army he was moving even faster than many had anticipated. This has been reinforced by the fact that Beijing has successfully combined an orbital system with a hypersonic weapon capable of fire a missile.
The hypersonic test occurs at a time when China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces, in a way that suggests that he is abandoning the “minimal deterrence” stance that it has held for decades. Recently, USA said to quadruple its nuclear warheads, at least 1,000 weapons, this decade.
China vs bitcoin: why Beijing is against cryptocurrencies
The Chinese embassy said it was “not aware” of the missile test.
“We are not at all interested in an arms race with other countries.”said Liu Pengyu, spokesman [de la embajada en los Estados Unidos]. “In recent years, USA has been making excuses like “the threat of China“to justify its weapons expansion and hypersonic weapons development“.
Beijing dismissed the first disclosure of the FT about the test of hypersonic weapons, saying that it was instead a test of a reusable space vehicle. But the test of that space vehicle took place 11 days before hypersonic weapons test, according to people familiar with both releases. The FT has also reported that China performed another test of hypersonic weapons on August 13.
Gen. David Thompson, deputy chief of space operations for the United States Space Force, said his country was “not as advanced” as China or Russia in matters of hypersonic weapons.
“We have to catch up very quickly. The Chinese have a hypersonic program unbelievably aggressive for several years, “Thompson told the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday.
The General Mark Milley, Chief of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently rated the weapons test as a “Sputnik moment”, referring to the Soviet Union was the first to put a satellite in space in 1957.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this week not to use the same language. But earlier this week, as he prepared to retire as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten expressed significant concern.
“The Sputnik created one sense of urgency on USA“Hyten told CBS News.” The July 27 test did not create that sense of urgency. I think it should probably create a sense of urgency. “