US expert of hypersonic technology Irain Boyd’s article “US, Russia, China Race To Develop Hypersonic Weapons” shows US military is filled with military technology illiterates. They know nothing about the progress of science and technology so that they have given up US leadership in hypersonic technology in developing aero-space planes space shuttles but are now trying hard to catch up with Russia’s and China’s advance in hypersonic technology.
The article has a wrong title that tells readers that China and Russia are racing with the US in hypersonic technology. In fact, China and Russia are leading the US in such technology while US military technology illiterates only now become aware of the importance of the technology and are trying hard to catch up.
However, the scientists and engineers in Chinese military are working hard to develop weapons in various areas of advanced science and technology. It will be very hard for science and technology illiterates in US military to catch up.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on International Business Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.ibtimes.com/us-russia-china-race-develop-hypersonic-weapons-2789385
Washington Free Beacon’s report “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup” yesterday shows US Pacific commander’s sinophobia.
I Reblog the report below with my comments to help readers understand how China’s rise scares the US.
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup
Pacific commander calls China ‘greatest long-term threat’
BY: Bill Gertz
February 13, 2019 5:00 am
The U.S. military is adding forces and bases in Asia to counter a “massive” buildup of Chinese military forces and aggressive efforts by Beijing to expand Chinese communism. (Note: Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that China will not export its model and there is no evidence that China is expanding communism. However, US failure in expanding its messy liberal democracy and the great popularity of Chinese model fill the commander with fear and pressure so that he has the nightmare of the expansion of communism. The expansion of communism exists only in his nightmare but he regards it as reality.) the commander of the Indo-Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday.
Adm. Philip Davidson, the new Pacom commander, testified that China’s military buildup includes significant numbers of advanced missiles, aircraft, ships, submarines and nuclear forces and he called China “the greatest long-term threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” (Note: Long-term threat to US hegemony in the region Without US hegemony the region can really be free and open. China’s military buildup threatens no one, not even the US that is located far away from the region.)
“Through fear and economic pressure, Beijing is working to expand its form of communist-socialist ideology in order to bend, break, and replace the existing rules-based international order,” Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Countries in the region are benefited by their win-win cooperation and trade with China. Only the US has fear and feels economic pressure so as to start a trade war with China. If the countries had fear or felt pressure, they would join the US in the trade war against China. The fact is they oppose the trade war as they fear their economies may suffer.)
“In its place, Beijing seeks to create a new international order led by China and with Chinese characteristics,” he added, an outcome that will replace the over 70 years of U.S.-backed peace and stability. (In the 70 years, the US fought and lost wars in Korea and Vietnam in the region instead of backing peace. The region has peace as the US is no longer able to fight a war there.)
Davidson testified that new U.S. weapons and forces will be added to respond to the Chinese buildup of its conventional, nuclear, and “gray zone” warfare capabilities—information and influence operations below the level of traditional armed conflict. (Note: He forgets that former US President Obama had decided in his policy of pivot to Asia to enhance US military deployment from 50% to 60% of its world forces. China’s military buildup has been its response to US military buildup. Now Adm. Davidson regards US military buildup as US response to China’s buildup. How absurd!)
The command currently is staffed with around 375,000 military and civilian personnel, about 200 ships, including five aircraft carrier strike groups, and around 1,100 aircraft.
“Over the last 20 years, Beijing has undertaken a massive effort to grow and modernize the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” Davidson testified. “The PLA is the principal threat to U.S. interests, U.S. citizens, and our allies inside the first island chain—a term that refers to the islands that run from northern Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia—and the PLA is quickly increasing its ability to project power and influence beyond the first island chain.”
The Chinese military buildup includes both qualitative and quantitative efforts to modernize forces and boost both numbers and lethality of its weapons.
Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the military needs “urgent change at a significant scale” to deal with China.
“Our military advantage and deterrent edge in the Indo-Pacific is eroding,” Inhofe said. “The Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing senses weakness. They are testing our resolve, and if we do not act urgently, they may soon conclude that they can achieve their goals through force. We can’t take that peace for granted.”
Davidson said Pacific forces currently are oriented toward responding to threats in Northeast Asia and are being repositioned to better respond to conflicts further south, such as in the South China Sea. The objective is for U.S. forces to “regain the advantage” militarily in the region, he said.
New military bases are being sought in that region along with closer cooperation with regional allies, he said.
Other areas for strengthened military forces include bolstering special operations forces for both irregular and unconventional warfare, and bolstering anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
New long-range mobile land-based missiles are needed to better deter China’s large force of intermediate-range missiles, Davidson said.
One new flashpoint for the United States and China is the South China Sea, where Beijing has built up some 3,200 acres of islands and is now deploying advanced missiles on some of the new islands.
U.S. trade with regional states in Southeast Asia totaled more than $1.8 trillion in 2017 and more than $1.3 trillion by the third quarter of 2018.
Davidson testified last year during his confirmation hearing that Chinese militarization in the South China Sea had effectively given the PLA control over the strategic waterway “short of war.”
Pacific Command forces have countered the attempted takeover by conducting more frequent naval warship passages and military flights to challenge the Chinese claims.
The most recent freedom of navigation operation took place Monday when two U.S. warships passed close to the disputed islands called Second Thomas Shoal and Mischief Reef.
U.S. military operations to establish freedom of navigation and overflight are critically important for the United States, Davidson said.
“This is about the free flow of communications,” Davidson said. “That’s oil. That’s trade. That’s economic means. It means the cyber connectivities on the cables that travel under the South China Sea, which are deep and profound coming out of Singapore, and it includes the free passage of citizens between all the great nations of the world.”
Davidson said the dangers of miscalculation have increased as a result of Chinese militarization. Large numbers of commercial airline flights regularly transit the sea.
“And each time that happens, there is somebody with a surface-to-air missile and a Chinese soldier evaluating whether that traffic can go on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I think it’s quite hazardous to the global security, and I think it’s quite pernicious that China would take such action.” (Note: Those are pure lies to demonize China. Chinese military threatens no one there. It has military presence there as it is located there. The US is located far away from the region and its military presence there is not requested by any countries there.)
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska) asked Davidson whether China had violated a pledge made in 2015 by Chinese President Xi Jinping to then-President Barack Obama not to militarize the South China Sea islands.
“So President Xi … he obviously didn’t keep his word when he made that statement in the Rose Garden next to President Obama, is that correct?” Sullivan asked.
“That’s correct, sir,” Davidson said. “In the most liberal interpretation (Note: Davidson as a military professional certainly knows deployment of defensive weapons and construction of civilian airstrips are not militarization so that he has to resort to “most liberal interpretation”) of militarizing those islands, China in April 2018 populated those islands with anti-ship cruise missiles, with surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers,” Davidson said, noting some islands with 10,000-foot-long runways were already in place.
“But now they have the weapons, they’ve got sufficient military cadre and they’ve stepped up their operations both in the maritime and with bomber sorties and fighter sorties in a way that makes it clear that those islands are to support them militarily.”
Beijing is asserting maritime claims in the South China Sea that are contrary to international law. The expansive claims “pose a substantial long-term threat to the rules-based international order,” Davidson said. (Note: What rule? the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? The US has not even signed it but wants to use it to accuse China. China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS! China conforms to the rule but the US does not regard it as rule by refusing to sign UNCLOS!)
China ignored a 2016 ruling from an international tribunal, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, that ruled China’s claims of historic rights over most of the South China Sea are illegal. (Note: As point out in the preceding note, China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS.)
Davidson declined to discuss during the open session how the U.S. military would respond to a Chinese military incident in the South China Sea. (Note: He would not tell the truth that US warships were driven away by Chinese military instead of persisting in remaining within China’s territorial waters to continue their freedom of navigation operations within China’s territorial waters.)
Asked if U.S. military logistics could support a military surge to Asia to counter Chinese aggression, Davidson said military sealift capabilities need to be improved.
“One of the other key needs for the region, is … the need to recapitalize our sealift fleet,” he said. “It is decades old now [and] needs to be replaced nearly desperately.”
Further north, Beijing is using its military forces to press similar expansive maritime claims to Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Davidson said. (Note: The US has stated that it did not take side in the territorial dispute between China and Japan over the islands. It only returned the administration of the islands to Japan instead of the sovereignty over the islands. Now Adm. Davidson regards the islands as Japan’s. Such US position makes it necessary for China to develop its military force in case that the US joins Japan in fighting for the sovereignty over the islands. China wants to resolve the dispute peacefully, but it has to be prepared for the worst.)
Chinese economic pressure in the Asia can be seen in offering short term loans that produce “unsustainable debt, decreased transparency, restrictions on market economies, and the potential loss of control of natural resources” for states in the region. (Note: No such pressure at all. The debts are all long term low interest ones and the countries have taken the loans willingly instead of being forced by China to take them.)
For example, in December 2017 Sri Lanka gave China control of its newly built Hambantota seaport with a 99-year lease because Sri Lanka could not afford debt payments on Chinese loans. (Note: Pure lie. The Chinese company paid and has to pay nearly one billion US dollars for 80% of the shares of Sri Lanka government’s company that has the lease. The Chinese company is a Hong Kong listed company. It disclosed that to its shareholders. In fact, Sri Lanka is thus able to have funds to repay the debts it owed other countries.)
As a result of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy,” Malaysia cancelled three projects with China worth $22 billion in August 2018 over concerns about Beijing’s corrupt practices and denouncing the loans as Chinese “colonialism.” (Note: “colonialism” was election rhetoric. When the new government was set up, it discussed with China and obtained China’s consent to cancel the projects. It blamed its preceding government for concluding the projects instead of China. You call China’s such cooperation with Malaysia’s new government “debt diplomacy”? You are unhappy that China and Malaysia remain good friends despite the projects had been canceled but you cannot help that as the two countries keep on seeking win-win cooperation.)
China also is seeking to control areas of the arctic and Antarctica. “Beijing recognizes the growing strategic significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and has signaled its plans to assert a greater role in these regions,” Davidson said, noting the encroachment is part of a “polar Silk Road” economic plan. (Note: Arctic and Antarctic are international areas. China’s greater role there threatens no one. Davidson seems to regard those areas as America’s.)
Another threat posed by China comes from exports of the opioid fentanyl and precursor chemicals that are fueling the opioid crisis in the United States. China’s Xi pledged to regulate fentanyl in a meeting with President Trump in December.
“We look forward to seeing tangible progress,” Davidson said of the Chinese promise to curb fentanyl. (Note: Opioid crisis is America’s own problem. However good China’s control of the drug, the US cannot resolve the problem if it is unable to maintain social order in its own house. Has the US been able to control crimes or put an end to criminals’ massacre of innocent people with easily available guns?)
Davidson outlined several newly deployed weapons systems by China (Note: He is certainly scared by that, but there will be more advanced weapons to come.):
•China deployed its first aircraft carrier group and has a second carrier that will join the fleet this year.
•Supporting the carrier group are new Renhai-class guided-missile cruisers.
•Fuyu-class fast combat support ships are also backing the carriers.
•Advanced J-20 stealth fighters entered service in February 2018 and a more advanced fighter is underway.
•A new heavy-lift transport, the Y-20, is now deployed with significantly larger payload and lift capability.
•Advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile, with a 250-mile range, will expand the PLA air coverage over the Taiwan Strait and other high priority facilities.
•New weapons with next-generation technologies and advanced weapons systems are being built including hypersonic glide vehicles, directed energy weapons, electromagnetic railguns, counter-space weapons, and unmanned and artificial intelligence-equipped weapons.
•Nuclear forces are being expanded with new ballistic missile submarines.
•A new DF-26 intermediate-range missile is deployed capable of striking Guam, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and other Pacific targets. (Note: and sinking US aircraft carriers. See SCMP’s report “Next stop Guam? China shows off its next generation DF-41 and DF-26 ballistic missiles” on February 2.)
•A new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41 with multiple warheads is being tested.
Regarding Taiwan, Davidson said there are growing concerns about Chinese military intervention based on harsh rhetoric from Xi toward the island.
“We continue to be concerned with China’s military buildup across the strait, Beijing’s opaqueness about its military capability and capacity, and its unwillingness to preclude the use of force to resolve the cross-strait issue,” Davidson said.
Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said the Trump administration’s diplomatic outreach to North Korea has cooled tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
“Today is day 440 since the last strategic provocation from the DPRK, the last time since we have had a flight—missile flight test or a nuclear weapons test,” he said, using the acronym for North Korea.
“The reduction in tension on the peninsula—it is palpable.”
Source: Washington Free Beacon “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup”
My comments indicate that I disagree with the report’s views.
SCMP says in its report “China takes step towards precision warheads for unstoppable nuclear weapon, state media says” yesterday that according to China’s state TV media CCTV on September 21 China tested three scalled-down models of “wide-speed-range vehicles that can fly from hypersonic to lower than sound velocity.
The three models are China’s differently shaped designs that China tests for its hypersonic plane and unstoppable nuclear-capable precision weapons.
Hypersonic speed ensures that the hypersonic missile is unstoppable but such high speed allows affects the precision in hitting the target. The variable range of speed enable the missile to reduce its speed for adjusting its trajectory and position to ensure precision hit.
Two of the three models are shaped similar to the waverider Starry Sky 2 China tested last month but the third one is different in shape.
The third one’s shape is called “I” shape, which the Institute of Mechanics of Chinese Academy of Sciences claimed in a paper published in February could produce 60 per cent higher lift coefficient than the waverider.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2166298/china-takes-step-towards-precision-warheads-unstoppable-nuclear.
By: Valerie Insinna August 15
WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will design a second hypersonic weapon prototype for the U.S. Air Force, the service announced Monday.
Although final terms have not been established, the contract could be worth up to $480 million for the critical design review, testing and production readiness support of the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW.
Lockheed is already working on a separate hypersonic weapon for the Air Force under the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon program, or HCSW, and this newest award sets it up to become a hypersonics-manufacturing powerhouse at a time when the Defense Department is deeply interested in the technology — and is investing funds to match that interest.
“We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a statement announcing the contract.
The Air Force wants to move both ARRW and the HCSW to a flying prototype as soon as possible, with 2021 cited as the goal date. By signing off on an undefinitized contract action, Lockheed and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center will be able to begin working on the program as the parties settle the final terms and price of the contract.
The service awarded Lockheed the HCSW contract in April. That program could be worth $928 million over its life cycle.
Whereas ARRW will be “pushing the art-of-the-possible” using technologies developed by the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the HCSW will comprise mature technologies that are integrated for the first time in an air-launched delivery system, the service said in a statement.
Russia and China are making their own investments in hypersonic technologies. Last week, China claimed that it had tested a hypersonic aircraft called Starry Sky-2 for the first time ever. Russia has also been public about its interest in hypersonics, and in May flew MiG-31s equipped with new hypersonic missiles at Russia’s annual Victory Day parade.
Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said in July that the United States cannot afford to concede the area of hypersonics to its potential adversaries.
“How close they are to operational, I just don’t know. But I’m worried about our end of things,” he said.
The other military branches are pursuing parallel hypersonics development programs, and leaders from the Defense Department, Missile Defense Agency, Air Force, Navy and Army signed a memorandum of agreement on June 28 to collaborate on hypersonic boost glide technologies, the statement said.
“The Joint Team requires the right mix of agile capabilities to compete, deter and win across the spectrum of competition and conflict,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said. “We must push the boundaries of technology and own the high ground in this era of great power competition and beyond.”
Source: Defense News “Lockheed nabs another big hypersonic weapons contract”
Note: This is Defense News’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
SCMP says in its report “China’s hypersonic aircraft, Starry Sky-2, could be used to carry nuclear missiles at six times the speed of sound”, “First test flight of experimental design, which rides its own shock waves, deemed a ‘huge success’
The device is called waverider by Chinese scientists who have developed it. That is not China’s first hypersonic flying vehicle. China has been testing hypersonic glide vehicles since 2014.
However, this was the first test of waverider, a hypersonic aircraft that takes off from a rocket but lands on its own. It flew at the maximum speed of Mach 6. It will be an aircraft able to carry and fire hypersonic missiles unstoppable by any existing missile defense systems.
The report quotes Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming as saying “I think there are still three to five years before this technology can be weaponised” .
Both the US and Russia are making great efforts to develop hypersonic weapons.
Russia has developed Kinzhal hypersonic missile system that had reached speeds of Mach 20 and will come into operation in 2019
SCMP says, “The US is working on several designs, including the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 and Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. Earlier this year, the US Air Force allocated US$1 billion for the design and development of a hypersonic missile that could be launched from a warplane.”
Both Russia and the US are developing hypersonic missiles while neither of them is developing hypersonic aircraft like what China has been doing.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2158524/chinas-hypersonic-aircraft-starry-sky-2-could-be-used.
Beijing’s new mach-buster could be the first modern operational hypersonic weapon system.
By Kyle Mizokami Dec 29, 2017
China tested a new missile that incorporates a hypersonic weapon system, an unnamed U.S. intelligence source told The Diplomat this week. The weapon, known as the Dong Feng (“East Wind”) -17, or DF-17 for short, is designed to confound existing air defenses. Intended to become an operational weapons system, the DF-17 is likely the first in a new generation of hypersonic weapons under development by the major military powers.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy Rocket Force, the arm of the Chinese military that controls Beijing’s nuclear and conventionally armed ballistic missiles, tested the DF-17 in November after more than a half dozen development tests between 2014 to 2016. (The image above is a DF-21D, which is similar to the DF-17.) The missile was launched from the Jiuquan Space Launcher Center in Inner Mongolia, the site of previous Chinese anti-satellite missile tests. The missile is expected to enter service in 2020 and has an estimated range of 1,100 to 1,500 miles.
Hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) differ from conventional ballistic missile warheads in several key ways. Traditional ballistic missile warheads are placed on top of a ballistic missile and are boosted into space, reentering earth’s atmosphere thousands of miles away at extremely high speed. Hypersonic glide vehicles also ride a ballistic missile (or are launched from an aircraft at very high altitudes) and stop short of entering space, gliding back down to Earth at hypersonic (Mach 5+) speeds.
HGVs travel under the gaze of traditional ballistic missile radars, flying lower than existing ballistic missile defense radars typically scan. This makes them difficult to defend against—at least for now. The tradeoff is that once HGVs begin their descent against their targets they fly slower than ballistic missile warheads and are easily visible.
The DF-17 doesn’t exactly revolutionize missile warfare. Against well-armed opponents such as the United States it provides only a temporary solution until existing missile defense systems (such as THAAD) are upgraded to deal with the threat. Against a less technologically advanced opponent, such as India, they would be more useful.
In the event of a major war with the United States, China would likely launch both HGV and ballistic missiles against U.S. to give defenders two types of missiles to defend against. It would complicate, but not render useless, existing defenses. Lockheed Martin is pushing an extended range version of its THAAD missile system to counter hypersonic weapons.
In addition to China, the United States and Russia are working on hypersonic weapons. A recent report by the Rand Corporation warned that hypersonic weapons, with their blistering fast speeds, could make war more likely as they force rival powers to adopt a “launch on warning” defense posture. This in turn could make human or technical errors more likely to accidentally start wars.
Source: Popular Mechanics “China Reportedly Tests New DF-17 Hypersonic Weapon”
Note: This is Popular Mechanics’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Ultra high-speed vehicles shown for first time on state-run television
BY: Bill Gertz
November 8, 2017 2:10 pm
China has disclosed the first images of secret hypersonic strike aircraft that are being developed to deliver nuclear warheads through U.S. missile defenses. State-run CCTV on Oct. 8 broadcast images of four different vehicles or missiles that U.S. intelligence agencies believe are mockups of hypersonic strike vehicles, including one known as DF-ZF.
It is the first time images of the hypersonic aircraft were made public.
The Free Beacon first reported China’s initial flight test of the hypersonic glider in January 2014. Since then, six other flight tests have been carried out in what U.S. intelligence officials believe is a high-priority weapons program for the Chinese.
China’s Defense Ministry confirmed the first flight test nearly four years ago but sought to play down the arms development.
“Our planned scientific research tests conducted in our territory are normal,” the ministry said in the statement. “These tests are not targeted at any country and at any specific goals.”
U.S. officials have told Congress the initial use of the new hypersonic glider will be for delivering nuclear warheads through what China believes will be a future global U.S. missile defense shield directed against its missiles.
The most advanced hypersonic missile is the DF-ZF glider that is launched atop a ballistic missile and then glides to its target in near space. The glider is capable of maneuvering at speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10—3,836 miles per hour and 7,672 miles per hour, respectively.
Such high speeds require special materials and electronics capable of withstanding the high temperatures and pressures created by those velocities.
The Oct. 8 broadcast reported on China’s development of a hypersonic wind tunnel that is used for testing the high-speed strike vehicles. The test system is located in Beijing and is known as the JF12 shock wave wind tunnel. A technician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiang Zonglin, told CCTV the tunnel is comparable to an unspecified “renowned” U.S. wind tunnel.
Jiang said the JF12 “has reached the world’s advanced level” and is capable of revealing many issues U.S. researchers have yet to discover about hypersonic flight.
According to Jiang, tests at the JF12 are conducted every two days and the facility will be operating at full capacity through the end of the year.
China expects to increase the speed of next generation hypersonic vehicles past the current Mach 5 limit, the report said.
The broadcast showed three hypersonic vehicles over various shapes, including a triangular-shaped glider, and one weapon that appeared similar in shape to the last stage of a ballistic missile.
The report also included images of the JF12 that stated the tunnel creates wind speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10 and uses a nozzle diameter of 8.2 feet. The test duration is 100 milliseconds.
The Pentagon’s 2013 annual report on the Chinese military mentioned the JF12 wind tunnel as a development of the China Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Mechanics.
The Institute announced in May 2012 that it began hypersonic testing of the super-large wind tunnel that China claimed is the largest in the world.
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the Strategic Command, said in July he is worried about the development of hypersonic missiles by China and Russia. The United States is also pursuing the weaponry, he said.
“Hypersonic technology is concerning to me, but it’s really no more concerning to me than any cruise missile technology, any ballistic missile technology,” Hyten said. “We have to be prepared to defend ourselves against all those threats. And we have to have a deterrent that is ready to respond in case any of those break out.”
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated in a report made public last summer that hypersonic glide vehicles are a new class of weapons and an emerging threat. Hypersonic missiles “are maneuverable vehicles that travel at hypersonic (greater than Mach 5) speed and spend most of their flight at much lower altitudes than a typical ballistic missile,” the report said. “The combination of high speed, maneuverability, and relatively low altitude makes them challenging targets for missile defense systems,” the report added, noting they are currently being developed by Russia and China.
Congress last year passed legislation requiring the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency to create a dedicated program aimed at countering hypersonic missile threats.
An Air Force-sponsored study warned last year that the United States is falling behind in the emerging hypersonic arms race.
“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons that may endanger both forward-deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States,” the study said. “These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.”
The growing threat of hypersonic arms is said by U.S. officials to be part of two major Pentagon studies that are nearing completion. One is the nuclear posture review that will include an examination of strategic threats to the United States posed by hypersonic nuclear delivery vehicles. A second is a review of strategic missile defenses that are being challenged by new hypersonic and other maneuvering missiles.
Rick Fisher, a China weapons expert with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the Chinese television broadcast confirms reports about the new high-technology weapons development.
“This CCTV show provides additional validation that China is developing hypersonic maneuverable reentry vehicles (MaRVs) that some PLA experts suggest in the future may also be launched from PLA navy ships to attack U.S. Navy ships.”
“The delta shape may be a generic test model or it could indicate the shape of an early PLA MaRV warhead.”
China’s development of high-speed maneuvering warheads is a high threat because “this type of warhead is much more difficult to intercept with current U.S. missile defenses,” Fisher said.
Three years ago, Lee Fuell, an intelligence analyst with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, told Congress China’s hypersonic glider appears designed for nuclear weapons.
“At this point, we think that’s associated with their nuclear deterrent forces,” Fuell said. “Of great concern would be if they were to apply the same technology and capability with a conventional warhead or even just without a warhead because of the kinetic energy that it has.”
In addition to an unpowered glider, China also is developing a scramjet-powered hypersonic missile. A Chinese technical publication reported in May that a breakthrough was made in development of a ramjet engine for hypersonic missiles.
The CCTV broadcast on the hypersonic missiles was first reported by the online newsletter “The War Zone” on Tuesday.
Source: Washington Free Beacon “China Reveals Images of New Hypersonic Strike Aircraft”
Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.