Beijing: China’s new “hypersonic” ballistic missiles will not only challenge the defences of the US but also be able to more accurately hit military targets in Japan and India, a media report said on Tuesday.
The report in the South China Morning Post comes after Tokyo-based The Diplomat magazine reported that China’s rocket forces conducted two tests late last year of a new hypersonic glide vehicle or HGV, known as the DF-17.
Citing US intelligence sources, The Diplomat last month reported that the People?s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force carried out the first test on November 1 and the second one two weeks later.
Both tests were successful and the DF-17 could be operational by around 2020, the US intelligence sources were quoted as saying. Asked about the two tests, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang today declined to react saying the Defence Ministry should be approached for information on this. Both tests were successful and the DF-17 could be operational by around 2020, the US intelligence sources were quoted as saying.
HGVs are unmanned, rocket-launched, manoeuvrable aircraft that glide and “skip” through the earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.
Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less- trackable trajectories. The approach leaves defence systems less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload.
The DF-17 test missiles were launched from the Jiuquan launch centre in Inner Mongolia and flew about 1,400 km during the trial, The Diplomat reported.