USA It is “very concerned” about China’s activity in the hypersonic missile sector, said Robert Wood, Washington’s permanent representative on disarmament issues, in Geneva this Monday.
“We are very concerned about what China is currently doing in the hypersonic field “said the ambassador, who after seven years in Geneva will leave his post next week to return to Washington.
The Financial Times stated in an article on Saturday that China launched in August a hypersonic missile nuclear capable, which circled the Earth in a low orbit before descending towards its target, which it did not reach.
This Monday, China denied this, mentioning “a routine test of a space vehicle, with the aim of testing the technology of this type of reusable devices.” Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was in charge of refuting the US claim.
The US ambassador stressed that Russia also has this hypersonic ability, and stated that The United States “has refrained from continuing” the military development of this technology, which refers to objects capable of flying at Mach 5 speeds, even higher, that are maneuverable, making them difficult to detect and intercept.
But faced with the development of this type of weaponry, “we have no other option but to react along the same lines,” Wood said.
USA he doesn’t have hypersonic missiles in his arsenal yet, but he’s working on this. The Darpa, scientific arm of the US Army, recently announced that it successfully tested its hypersonic missile HAWC (Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept) of aerobic propulsion, that is, using oxygen from the atmosphere for its combustion.
The Pentagon is also developing a hypersonic glider called the ARRW (pronounced Arrow), but last April its first full-scale test was unsuccessful.
In 2019, China had already submitted a hypersonic missile, the DF-17. It is an intermediate-range weapon (about 2,000 km), shaped like a “glider” and can carry nuclear warheads.
The missile pointed out by the Financial Times is different, since it could reach space, put into orbit and then cross the atmosphere again and head towards its objective. Its range would be vastly greater than that of the DF-17.
Russia recently launched a hypersonic missile, the Zircon, from a submarine, and as of the end of 2019 it already had the Avangard, with nuclear capacity. According to the Russians, the Avangard can reach Mach 27 speed and change course and altitude.