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China tested hypersonic missile in orbit

China has tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile in orbit, reported on Saturday. Financial Times. Beijing would have launched in August a missile with nuclear capacity which circled the Earth in low orbit before descending towards its target, missed by more than 32 kilometers.

The hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound. They can therefore potentially reach their target more quickly. Importantly, a hypersonic missile is maneuverable, which makes it more difficult to track and counter.

US intelligence taken aback

The Chinese hypersonic glider was reportedly carried by a Long March rocket, whose launches are generally announced, while the August test was kept secret. China’s progress in hypersonic weapons “took US intelligence by surprise,” according to the Financial Times.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he would not comment on the details of the article, but added, “We have made clear our concerns about the military development that China continues to pursue, which only increases tensions in the region and beyond. This is one of the reasons why we see China as our number one stimulus challenge ”.

The reported test occurs when the US-Chinese tensions have increased and Beijing has stepped up its military activities near Taiwan. Besides Beijing, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries are working on hypersonic technology.

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