China deploys invincible hypersonic missile to counter US bases in Pacific

U.S. defense officials believe China is ahead of Russia in developing hypersonic weapons and may have already deployed a weapon capable of reaching U.S. sites in the Pacific, drawing attention away from Moscow’s use of such weapons in Ukraine.

According to testimony given before a US congressional committee on March 10, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s head scientist for science and technology confirmed that China and Russia had conducted successful tests of hypersonic missiles and likely deployed operational systems. However, China has superior infrastructure and a variety of systems to those of Russia.

The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s analysis division, Paul Freisthler, testified before a House Armed Services subcommittee that China had made significant strides in developing nuclear-armed and conventional hypersonic missile technology and capabilities through intense and concentrated investment development, testing, and deployment.

Also, since 2014, China has been conducting tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a hypersonic glide warhead. He further mentioned that in July 2021, the weapon proved it could go around the globe.

According to Freisthler, the Chinese Academy of Aerodynamics has at least three hypersonic wind tunnels that can reach velocities of Mach 8, Mach 10, and Mach 12.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound, destroying their targets in an instant with no time for a defense.

No foolproof defenses exist at the present time. On today’s battlefield, speed, efficiency, accuracy, and invincibility are rare but highly prized traits.

According to information from the Congressional Research Service and the Defense Intelligence Agency, China possesses at least 21 wind tunnels at its two hypersonic weapons research labs.

China deploys invincible hypersonic missile to counter US bases in Pacific

China’s Advances in Hypersonic Weapons

In July 2021, China’s hypersonic weapon successfully circumnavigated the globe during a system test, leading a leading US defense official to compare the event to the beginning of the early space race in the 1950s.

The DF-17 is vital to China’s hypersonic arsenal as a medium-range ballistic missile. The missile, which can travel up to 2,500 kilometers before exploding on impact, is launched from a portable launcher. As an HGV system, the DF-17 can be launched from a regular rocket booster.

Moreover, China has an intercontinental ballistic missile called the DF-41, which features a hypersonic glide vehicle.

According to Chinese media, the DF-41 missile has a range of over 14,000 kilometers, can carry a dozen independently selectable nuclear bombs, and is capable of reaching any location on Earth.

Also, the Starry Sky-2, a prototype hypersonic aircraft created in Beijing, can transport nuclear missiles at speed six times that of sound.

In the meantime, on March 9, Russia fired a barrage of missiles at Ukraine, utilizing around six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. The maximum speed of the Kinzhal is Mach 10, with a range of around 2,000 kilometers.

According to the country’s claims, Russia also has the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which can travel over 6,000 kilometers at Mach 20 speeds. Moreover, the Zircon hypersonic ship-launched missile can go up to Mach 8 and has a range of 1,000 kilometers.

According to Freisthler, Moscow has also disclosed intentions to equip its Sarmat ICBM with a hypersonic glide vehicle and is now developing an air-launched hypersonic missile (the Kh-95). The United States military has been developing and testing many hypersonic weapons, but none of them are ready for deployment.

It has been officially stated that, unlike China and Russia, the United States has no plans to nuclearize any of its hypersonic weapons. US officials are concerned that the Chinese could use hypersonic weapons to attack US warplanes and other assets at bases in Japan or Guam.

Weapons could even unexpectedly penetrate the deck of one of America’s 11 multibillion-dollar aircraft carriers, instantly ending airside aviation operations. Defense analysts noted that this vulnerability could one day make floating giants obsolete.

For decades to come, these new weapons could perform a task that nuclear weapons have long been designed to do:

  • Launch a first strike against another country’s government or stockpiles.
  • Disrupt key communication channels.
  • Weaken some of their retaliatory forces.

Nothing like the radioactive fallout and targeted condemnation from exploding nuclear bombs is needed to achieve this goal.