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China. A hypersonic missile orbits Earth, tested in Beijing orbit, writes Financial Times

China.  A hypersonic missile orbits Earth, tested in Beijing orbit, writes Financial Times

The British Financial Times reports that Beijing launched a hypersonic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons in August. Before this rocket could orbit the earth in low orbit, its target failed. The FT notes that China’s progress in the field of supersonic weapons has “surprised US intelligence.”

Financial Times circles, the supersonic missile carried by the Long March rocket, whose launches are usually announced, the August test was kept secret. According to an article published on Saturday, China’s progress on supersonic weapons “surprised US intelligence.” In addition to Beijing, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries work on supersonic technology.

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The hypersonic missile was carried by a Long March rocket. ChartPAPNewscom

What is hypersonic technology

FT explains that hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, can fly at five times the speed of sound. Ballistic missiles fly high in space, curving to reach their target, while a hypersonic missile follows a low path in the atmosphere, which can hit the target fast. Importantly, the hypersonic missile is maneuverable (very slow, often like a subsonic cruise missile), making it difficult to monitor and counter-attack.

Countries such as the United States have developed systems designed to protect against cruise and ballistic missiles, but the ability to monitor and shoot down hypersonic missiles is unknown. According to a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), China has developed this attack technology as a key defense against US advances in supersonic and other technologies.

The test described by the “FT” has escalated US-China tensions and accelerated military action near Beijing.

Key Photo Source: PAPNewscom

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