China ‘surprised’ US with hypersonic missile test

Published October 18, 2021
Chinese and US flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021. — Reuters
Chinese and US flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021. — Reuters

BEIJING: China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, showing a capability that caught US intelligence by surprise, the Financial Times reported, citing five unnamed sources.

The report late on Saturday said the Chinese military launched a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that flew through low-orbit space, circling the globe before cruising towards its target, which it missed by 40 kilometres.

“The test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised,” the report said, citing people briefed on the intelligence.

The United States and Russia are also developing hypersonic missiles, and last month North Korea said it had test-fired a newly-developed hypersonic missile.

At a 2019 parade, China showcased advancing weaponry, including its hypersonic missile, known as the DF-17.

Ballistic missiles fly into outer space before returning on steep trajectories at high speeds. Hypersonic weapons are difficult to defend against because they fly towards targets at lower altitudes, but can achieve more than five times the speed of sound — or about 6,200 km per hour.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.
New Covid danger
30 Nov 2021

New Covid danger

The government’s messaging around the coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated.
Updated 30 Nov 2021

Saudi conditions

DECADES of fiscal profligacy have trapped the country in a situation where it not only has to borrow more money to...
30 Nov 2021

Mental health concerns

THE economic and psychological effects of Covid-19, combined with the issues of joblessness and inflation, have had ...