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China's military last week conducted the first flight test of a new ultra-high speed missile vehicle aimed at delivering warheads through U.S. missile defenses, Pentagon officials said.
The test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle was carried out Jan. 9 and the experimental weapon is being dubbed the WU-14 by the Pentagon, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The hypersonic vehicle represents a major step forward in China's secretive strategic nuclear and conventional military and missile programs.
The new hypersonic vehicle was detected traveling at extremely high speeds during the flight test over China, said officials who discussed some details of the test.
The hypersonic craft appears designed to be launched atop one of China's intercontinental ballistic missiles, and then glides and maneuvers at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound from near space en route to its target, the officials said.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the test but declined to provide details.
The Air Force's X-51A Waverider reached a top speed of Mach 5.1 during the test flight, traveling more than 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes before crashing into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast as planned, Air Force officials announced today (May 3). Wednesday's flight used the last of four X-51A vehicles built by Boeing for the Air Force experiments. While the previous test, in August 2012, was a failure, Wednesday's mission pulled off the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever, officials said. [See Video of the X-51A's Final Flight] - See more at: www.space.com...
Ian Easton, in a report published by the Project 2049 Institute, said China’s hypersonic weapons are part of what he called “the Great Game in space.”
“If there is a great power war in this century, it will not begin with the sound of explosions on the ground and in the sky, but rather with the bursting of kinetic energy and the flashing of laser light in the silence of outer space,” Easton said.
reply to post by Mamatus
Exceptional 1st post in this thread.
Correct, in the metaphor used "hit him with everything you got from behind." - how to stop a bully