According to a report by Financial Times, China has tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile. It was noted in the report that China’s capital Beijing launched the nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the Earth at low orbit before descending towards its target. The hypersonic glide vehicle was carried by a Long March rocket and the test in August test has not been revealed then. The sources said that the missile missed over 20 miles.
The new missile launch surprised the US. Intelligence officials and it was reported in the financial times that the hypersonic weapons were far more advanced than US officials realized. John Kirby, press secretary, Department of Defense, said the United States sees China as the No. 1 “pacing challenge” as the two countries work towards developing hypersonic weapons.
Apart from the hypersonic missile by China and the US, Russia and at least five other countries are also working on hypersonic technology to bring up to the world. According to a report by the US Congressional Research Service, China has been continuous with aggressiveness in developing the technology, seeing it as crucial to defend against US gains in hypersonic and other technologies.
Hypersonic missiles are highly injective weapons to defend the enemies and they can fly at more than five times the speed of sound. The missile has the capability of reaching the target very fast and precisely. But the missile is unlike the subsonic cruise missile which is that it is maneuverable.
Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision. Modern cruise missiles are capable of traveling at supersonic or high subsonic speeds, are self-navigating, and are able to fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low-altitude trajectory.
A spokesman for China, Liu Pengyu, said the country has no global strategy or plans for military operations at present.