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Pentagon confirms Chinese hypersonic missile test in August

2021-10-27T17:26:09.044Z

The highest ranking American officer, General Mark Milley, publicly confirmed Wednesday, October 27 a hypersonic missile test by Beijing dating ...



The highest ranking American official, General Mark Milley, publicly confirmed Wednesday, October 27 a hypersonic missile test by Beijing dating from August and revealed in mid-October by the

Financial Times

, acknowledging that the United States had been taken by surprise. "

What we have seen is (...) a very significant test of a hypersonic weapon system

," the US chief of staff said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "

He has our full attention

." He compared this test to the launch in October 1957 by the USSR of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, which surprised the United States and launched the race for the conquest of space. "

I don't know if it's exactly like Sputnik, but I think it's very close

”.

Read also Defense: how hypersonic missiles are changing the strategic game

General Milley is the first US official to publicly confirm information from the

Financial Times

, which reported that China launched a nuclear-capable missile in August that circled the Earth in low orbit before descending towards its target.

Citing sources with knowledge of the test, the British daily added that the missile had missed its target by more than 30 km.

Beijing had denied this information, claiming to have carried out a "

routine test of a space vehicle, intended to test reusable space vehicle technology

".

A technology that is also of interest to the United States

China has already presented a hypersonic missile, the DF-17, in 2019.

This intermediate range weapon (around 2000 km), in the form of a "

glider

", can carry nuclear warheads.

The missile mentioned by the

Financial Times

, different, could reach space, be placed in orbit and then re-pass the atmosphere before hitting its target.

Its reach would thus be much greater.

The United States does not yet have hypersonic missiles in their arsenal, but they are working on them.

DARPA, the scientific arm of the United States Army, recently announced that it had successfully tested its aerobic-propelled Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) hypersonic missile, that is, it uses the oxygen present in the atmosphere for its combustion.

The Pentagon is also developing a hypersonic glider called ARRW (pronounced Arrow), but its first full-scale test failed last April.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-10-27

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