The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) confirmed its fourth test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile allegedly fast enough to bypass U.S. defenses.
Hypersonic missiles aim to reach speeds above Mach 5 (3,840 mph), which would allow them to strike targets on short notice and be extremely difficult to shoot down.
During its recent test of the missile, the Chinese regime allegedly “performed maneuvers that demonstrated its ability to penetrate missile defense systems,” according to military equipment website army-technology.com.
It reported that Chinese military analysts “interpreted the trial as a response” to the United States’ holding freedom of navigation exercises near the Chinese regime’s man-made islands in the South China Sea.
The Chinese military’s new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) has been dubbed the WU-14 by the Pentagon. The military has tested the missile three times in the past: in January, August, and December 2014.
The WU-14 can allegedly reach 7,680 mph, which is at the tail end of hypersonic speeds, before reaching high-hypersonic speeds (between 7,680 and 16,250 mph). The speeds reached by the WU-14 could not be independently verified.
U.S. officials worry the missiles could eventually carry nuclear warheads. A 2014 congressional report warns “Hypersonic glide vehicles could render existing U.S. missile defense systems less effective and potentially obsolete.”
Both China and the United States are trying to develop the next-generation technology. The Chinese test comes as the Pentagon is designing a new hypersonic missile for upcoming tests, which will build on its test of the X-51 WaveRider hypersonic missile in May 2013. The missile was able to accelerate to Mach 5.1 (about 3,400 mph).