According to the Financial Times, which cited five unidentified individuals, China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, revealing a capability that took US intelligence off guard.
According to a report published late Saturday, the Chinese military fired a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that circled the globe before flying towards its objective, which it missed by approximately two dozen miles.
The test demonstrated that China had made incredible advances in hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US authorities realized, the Times cited personnel who briefed on the intelligence.
Reuters said that the Chinese Ministry of Defense did not respond to the fax request of comment from Reuters. The United States and Russia are also working on hypersonic missiles, and North Korea announced last month that it had tested a newly designed hypersonic missile.
China displayed advanced weapons, including its hypersonic missile, the DF-17, at a parade in 2019. Ballistic missiles travel into space before returning at great speeds on steep trajectories. Hypersonic weapons are difficult to defend against since they travel at lower altitudes yet may reach speeds of more than five times the speed of sound - or around 6,200 kilometers per hour (3,850 mph).
A team led by Fan Xuejun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Mechanics created a type of scramjet that operated continuously for 600 seconds in a ground test, according to Weihutang, a military affairs program connected with state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV). This shattered the world record of 210 seconds held by the United States' X-51 aircraft.
Hypersonic missiles and vehicles can travel at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound. Rockets may travel at speeds up to 25 times the speed of sound. Hypersonic missiles, on the other hand, maybe smaller and have superior control over their flight. A longer duration engine would allow a hypersonic weapon to fly for extended periods. Ten minutes at Mach 5 would equate to around 700 miles of range. Ten minutes at Mach 10 would equate to around 1400 miles of range.