The Dongfeng-27 missile, with its astounding range of 8000km, possesses an unparalleled capability to strike the United States without leaving China’s island chain, making it impervious to interception.
Unlocking the Secrets of “Dongfeng-27”
While the Dongfeng series of missiles is well-known, much attention has been directed toward the Dongfeng-17 and Dongfeng-21D missiles. The “Dongfeng-27,” however, remains shrouded in secrecy. Limited information has surfaced through leaked reports from the US military, offering insights into its performance and characteristics.
A Strategic Shift: Asymmetrical Warfare
To bridge the gap between China’s military capabilities and that of the US, China adopts the strategic concept of “asymmetrical warfare.” Rather than competing head-on with the world’s military superpower, China opts for innovative approaches to achieve leapfrog advancements in defense capabilities.
Unmatched Hypersonic Technology
To bolster its national defense, China places great emphasis on the development of “hypersonic” technology. The concept of “hypersonic” was first introduced by the esteemed Chinese scientist, Qian Xuesen, known for his contributions to “two bombs and one satellite.”
Confronting US Hegemony
The core of US military dominance lies in its extensive aircraft carrier battle groups and military bases scattered across the globe. Hypersonic technology, like that of the “Dongfeng-27,” presents China with the means to strike US military assets near its territory, safeguarding its homeland security.
Decoding the Range of “Dongfeng-27”
The leaked military report suggests that the tested hypersonic weapon, potentially the “Dongfeng-27,” covers a range of 2100 kilometers with a flight time of 12 minutes. This missile’s range is believed to be only a partial test, hinting at a far greater range capability.
A Potential Game-Changer
Experts speculate that the “Dongfeng-27” might be an enlarged version of the “Dongfeng-17,” functioning as a boost gliding aircraft. Such a configuration could enable it to reach altitudes similar to the trajectory of the “Dongfeng-17” and attain speeds that border on those of intercontinental missiles.
Threatening the US Military from Within
If land-based, the “Dongfeng-27” could target US military bases in the second island chain, including locations like Guam and Japan, all within striking distance from the Chinese mainland. Furthermore, it could directly threaten US military bases in Hawaii and even large US military ships in the Pacific Ocean.
A Warhead of Precision
The “Dongfeng-27” necessitates a specialized warhead design as a hypersonic weapon. The exact details of this design remain undisclosed, but its high aerodynamic lift-to-drag ratio allows it to maneuver adeptly in the atmosphere, making it practically invulnerable to current anti-missile systems.
Unstoppable Terminal Dive Attack
With an impressive speed equivalent to Mach 8.6 at sea level, the “Dongfeng-27” accelerates to even higher speeds at high altitudes. Its terminal dive attack speed likely surpasses Mach 9, rendering it virtually invincible against any existing anti-missile defense systems.
Hypersonic Superiority in Indo-Pacific Region
With “Dongfeng-27” at its disposal, China gains a significant advantage in the Indo-Pacific region. Even the mighty US military, renowned for its combat power, faces formidable challenges.
Numerous simulations conducted by US think tanks regarding a Taiwan Strait conflict have consistently demonstrated the destructive potential of hypersonic weapons against invading US aircraft carrier battle groups.
The Elusive US Hypersonic Pursuit
Contrary to misconceptions, the United States indeed strives to develop hypersonic weapons. However, its ambitious “AGM-183” hypersonic missile project faced repeated failures in tests conducted in 2021 and 2022, casting doubt on its viability. The US Air Force’s “HACM” project, an air-breathing cruise missile powered by a scramjet engine, has also encountered setbacks. The US Navy and Army’s hypersonic weapon projects remain in the nascent stages.
Obstacles to US Hypersonic Advancement
The United States has encountered persistent difficulties in the realm of hypersonic weapon technology. Challenges involving scramjet engines and limited wind tunnel resources have hindered progress.
In contrast, China maintains a significant edge in wind tunnel technology. Its JF-22 wind tunnel, capable of replicating flight conditions up to 30 times the speed of sound, places China decades ahead of Europe and the US.
In conclusion, the “Dongfeng-27” heralds a new era of unstoppable hypersonic weapons, catapulting China into the forefront of military innovation. With the potential to dismantle US island chain strategies and secure its own sea areas, China’s hypersonic prowess cannot be underestimated. As the United States struggles to overcome technical hurdles, it lags behind in the race for hypersonic dominance.