There is talk of a new allegation in the ongoing hypersonic missile race between the world’s major powers, the United States, Russia and China, which has been unfolding for some time. Accordingly, China launched another hypersonic missile during flight from a hypersonic missile that traveled five times faster than the sound it fired.
Britain’s Financial Times published a report last month suggesting China had tested a hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Beijing denied the paper’s claim, citing five different sources, arguing that they were conducting a spacecraft test, not a hypersonic missile.
However, the same newspaper published a new report suggesting that China was at a very advanced point in its hypersonic missile test.
Accordingly, China conducted a surprising missile test on July 27. In its test, Beijing conducted a first by launching a second missile on top of the hypersonic missile it fired during the flight.
Military experts say the missile, which is at least five times faster than the sound with no specific target, landed in the South China Sea.
Experts from Pentegon said they were unsure how China had achieved this feat, which pushed the boundaries of physics.
Some Pentagon experts were cautious about the paper’s claim. Some suggested the test was an air-to-air missile, while others noted that it was a new system to defend hypersonic missile systems.
U.S. lags behind China and Russia
General David Thompson, vice president of the U.S. Space Forces, acknowledged that they lag behind China and Russia in hypersonic missile technology. Speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum, General Thompson stressed that new satellite systems are needed to fully monitor hypersonic missile tests.
As the Pentagon pushes for new hypersonic missiles, the military is not expected to take the new technology into its inventory until 2024. The US navy is expected to deploy hypersonic missiles on a combat submarine in 2025.
How do hypersonic cruise missiles work?
Hypersonic cruise missiles can travel faster than cruise missiles currently in use thanks to the scramjet engine system.
Thanks to the Scramjet, which is used instead of the traditional ramjet, hypersonic vehicles increase to hypersonic speed level with the combustion power generated by combining the oxygen it receives from the outside with the hydrogen fuel in it while it is in flight.
Ramjet, on the other hand, could not exceed certain speed levels due to the weight caused by carrying oxygen in-house.
Ballistic missiles reach the target after climbing above the atmosphere and drawing a spring-shaped line.
Hypersonic missiles leave the atmosphere shortly after leaving the rocket, but return to the atmosphere quickly and lock on to the target with propagation/gliding movements.
After that, the missile, which keeps its progress to the target five times faster than sound and at a low altitude, cannot be detected by defense systems.