EM – China Testing New Space Capability Using Hypersonic Missile: Report

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China tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The report, citing several sources familiar with the test, said Beijing launched a nuclear capable missile that hit Earth in August orbited in low orbit before descending on its target, which it missed by more than 20 miles, according to three sources. FT sources said the hypersonic glider was carried by a Long March missile that was being launched normally announced, although the August test was kept under lock and key.

In addition to China, the USA, Russia and at least five other countries are working on hypersonic technology.

Hypersonic missiles, like conventional ballistic missiles that can fire nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound.

But ballistic missiles fly high into space in an arc to reach their target, while an H ypersonic flies on a trajectory deep in the atmosphere and may reach a target faster.

Crucial is that a hypersonic missile is maneuverable (like the much slower, often subsonic cruise missiles), which makes it more difficult to track and close defend.

While countries like the United States have developed cruise missile and ballistic missile defense systems, the ability to detect and launch a hypersonic missile remains an issue.

According to a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) China has aggressively advanced the technology and sees it as critical to defend itself against US gains in hypersonic and other technologies.

The reported test comes as tensions between the US and China have increased and Beijing has stepped up military activity near Taiwan, self-governing, directed to the United States democracy that sees Beijing as a province awaiting reunification.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on the FT report.

(This story was not shared by NDTV- Employees and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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