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China Developing New Hypersonic Missile Capable Of Striking Any Target

China is the reusable hypersonic missile/SWCP. China’s communist army is reportedly developing a new  hypersonic  weapon that’s accurate eno...

China is the reusable hypersonic missile
China is the reusable hypersonic missile/SWCP.
China’s communist army is reportedly developing a new hypersonic weapon that’s accurate enough to target a moving passenger vehicle while flying at five times the speed of sound.

A research team at the Chinese military’s PLA Rocket Force University of Engineering has said it was making “important progress” toward developing a heat-seeking missile capable of extreme accuracy at hypersonic speeds, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a paper published in Chinese peer-reviewed journal Infrared and Laser Engineering. The team, led by Yang Xiaogang, was reportedly given a deadline of 2025 to solve the issue of how to improve the accuracy of China’s burgeoning hypersonics program.

The ability to strike a passenger vehicle at hypersonic speed would be a feat of technological expertise in missile science if accomplished. At present, hypersonic weapons have incredibly limited maneuverability because of their speed. When China tested its orbital hypersonic weapon last July, the test was considered a huge milestone, despite the fact that the missile landed roughly 24 miles from its intended target.

Yang’s team is improving the accuracy of such weapons by developing a new identification and tracking system that will add information from motion detectors to that gathered by the infrared seekers normally used by heat-seeking missiles. The combined data collected from both systems will allow for a crisper tracking process than the frame-by-frame tracking used in traditional heat-seekers and a much more accurate missile.

China has already demonstrated its capability to strike larger mobile targets such as an aircraft carrier, but striking smaller moving targets, especially in densely populated regions, is something much more difficult.

There’s other evidence that China is attempting to develop more accurate missile technology as well. Recent satellite imagery revealed a complex missile testing site in the desert of western China, which analysts believe is being used to improve the efficacy of missiles in order to target ships in port.

Such weapons could be used for a number of combat roles, including a decapitation strike on an enemy fleet in harbor or more attacks on high-value moving targets, such as weapons systems or commanding officers. China’s accelerating attempts to develop hypersonic weapons have drawn an equal measure of fear and ire from the United States, which scrapped its own program to build a hypersonic glide vehicle in 2011 after two failed tests.

Then-Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Hyten said in November that the Pentagon’s runaway bureaucracy and risk-averse culture were hamstringing U.S. military development. He said the United States had only conducted nine hypersonic tests in the previous five years, while China’s communist regime had conducted hundreds.

“Single digits versus hundreds is not a good place,” Hyten said. Not all American military leaders are as worried about the role of hypersonics, however. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall downplayed the importance of such weapons to U.S. strategy during a talk in January and said U.S. strategic needs were different than those of China.

“China has a set of targets, and I can easily understand why they would want to field hypersonic weapons in reasonable quantities,” Kendall said. “We don’t have the same target set that they’re worried about.” Regardless, fears of a new arms race have pushed the United States into a rush to develop at least some new hypersonic capabilities.

In May, the Air Force announced that it had successfully conducted a test of an air-launched hypersonic missile from a B-52 bomber off the coast of California. The test would ensure that the U.S. military maintained the upper hand, the Air Force stated.

“Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon,” said 419th Flight Test Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist. “We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible.”