• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 9:03pm

China hails first test of hypersonic nuclear missile carrier

US no longer only one with Mach 10 glider that can outfox defences and deliver nuclear warhead

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 4:20am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 8:41am

China has flight-tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle capable of penetrating any existing defence system with nuclear warheads, according to the Pentagon.

The hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), dubbed the "Wu-14" by the United States, was detected flying at 10 times the speed of sound during a test flight over China on Thursday, a Pentagon official told the Washington Free Beacon, an online newspaper. A Pentagon spokesman later confirmed the report but declined to provide details.

"We routinely monitor foreign defence activities and we are aware of the test," Marine Corpsc spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Pool told the Beacon.

Chinese military experts yesterday hailed the test as a breakthrough.

It makes China the second country after the US to have successfully tested a hypersonic delivery vehicle capable of carrying nuclear warheads at a speed above Mach 10.

Such a weapon has long been seen as a game-changer by security experts as it can hit a target before any of the existing missile defence systems can react. Once deployed, it could significantly boost China's strategic and conventional missile force.

It is designed to be carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile. Once it reaches an undisclosed sub-orbital altitude, the vehicle jettisons from the rocket and nose-dives towards the target at a speed of Mach 10, or 12,359km/h.

Russia and India are also known to be working on such a weapon.

In 2010, the US tested the Lockheed HTV-2 - a similar delivery vehicle capable of reaching speeds of up to Mach 20.

Last week's test shows that China has managed to close the gaps with the US. Chinese scientists said China had put "enormous investment" into the project.

More than 100 teams from leading research institutes and universities have been involved in the project.

Purpose-built facilities test various parts of the weapons system. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, for instance, has recently built one of the world's largest and most advanced hypersonic wind tunnels to simulate flights at up to Mach 15 at the Institute of Mechanics in Beijing.

Professor Wang Yuhui , a researcher on hypersonic flight control at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said she was not surprised by the test last week because China was technologically ready.

The objective of hypersonic vehicles was to outmanoeuvre and penetrate a missile defence system, she said.

"With a speed of Mach 10 or higher, it cannot be caught or tracked because defence systems don't have enough time to respond," Wang said.

She said the US remained the indisputable leader in the field but no country was ready to deploy the first practical hypersonic missile as many technological challenges remained. One outstanding issue was how to achieve precise flight control at such high speeds.

Scientists are also trying to develop a better "super material" that can withstand the high temperatures during hypersonic flights.

"I am sure many tests will be carried out after last week's flight to solve the problems," Wang said. "It's just the beginning."

Li Jie , a Beijing-based naval expert, said hypersonic weapons were of strategic and tactical importance to China.

"Many technical issues have not been solved and no country has made it ready for use in the field," he said.

"But it is a challenge we must surmount, and we are throwing everything we have at it."

Ni Lexiong , a Shanghai-based naval expert, said China might still need some time to catch up with the US but the day could arrive sooner than many expect. "Missiles will play a dominant role in warfare and China has a very clear idea of what is important."



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Congrats to China for another fantastic accomplishment, right after the successful (precise) technological-demanded landing of the lunar rover. Happy to see that the good news keep on rolling out beautifully on a daily basis. The only country in the world still progressing smoothly in economics, technology, and surely military, as planned by Her "Smart Leadership Xi and Li Team". The number ONE economic ranking should be on target (2020) and is coming soon in just a few more years. Wow, what a miraculous growth in such a short span of 30 years - that never happened in human history!! Well, there are always noise from the "sour grapes" category of little people in this world. The beauty is that China can still focus on its own no-nonsense style working quietly and firmly towards its sound, perfect, and robust plan. Keep on trucking - CHINA.
oh another ideal stolen from some other country no doubt
they are so pitiful , they were found stealing seeds in america trying to copy a new strain
the future is bleak indeed
Jealousy of someone doing better than the redneck, is bad for your health.
See doctor please
Not sure of the headcount but I know Vietnam kicked China's butt when Deng Xiao Ping invaded his Socialist brother's homeland in '78-79...
The death count was very low for both sides and the PLA certainly did not unleashed full force. It's matter of academics as who won the fight but you would never see the type of atrocities that is being committed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq today. And don't forget agent orange in Vietnam.
No knowledge about the history. Don't you know that Japan was the Oriental Nazi in WW2! They sneaked and invaded everybody (including America's Pearl Harbor, for God's sake) in WW2 and murdered, raped, millions; and to date, still trying to deny about their crimes and claiming that they were helping the world. What a freaking, lying country! Only the naive and innocent ones, will still believe them. They thought the world is in kindergarten level. Anyone with brain cells will not trust them. And yet, today they still distort all the facts about China and acts as a dog for the US trying to suppress China's growth, but still fail miserably because China is destined factly to be #1 economic power soon as in 2020. Please study the history to understand who created all wars around the world - the Western world leaded by US, Britain, French their dog in the East, Japan. Read the history - China has not initiated a single war for past centuries. Millions are still dying in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria!! Understand history, then you will understand who are the real aggressors in this world.
You got it backwards. No need to steal the US version which keeps crashing in the sea when China's got one that works.

Ask not what Mr. Mao did; ask what he would do if he were leading China today...
Don't write off the British yet. They are already selling their secret weapon on the internet. See :-
h t t p://brocksfireworks.com/home
Ignorant! Does not know anything about the world - probably high school dropout.



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