China denies testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, says it was a spacecraft

2021-10-19 07:18:09

The Monetary Occasions reported Sunday that “China examined a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe earlier than dashing in the direction of its goal, demonstrating a complicated area functionality that caught US intelligence abruptly.” The report cited unnamed sources “briefed on the intelligence.”

When requested in regards to the report at a daily press briefing Monday, China’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian mentioned the August check was “a spacecraft, not a missile.”

“This check was a routine spacecraft experiment to confirm the reusable expertise of spacecraft, which is of nice significance for lowering the price of spacecraft use. It might present a handy and low-cost means for people to make use of area peacefully. Many corporations on the planet have carried out related experiments,” Zhao mentioned.

He mentioned that “what separated from the spacecraft earlier than returning was the supporting gear of the spacecraft, which was burned and disintegrated within the technique of falling into the environment and landed on the excessive seas.”

“China will work along with different nations on the planet to learn mankind within the peaceable use of area,” he mentioned.

US Air Force test to launch ultra-fast hypersonic missile fails

Responding to the FT’s report, Mike Gallagher, a Republican member of the US Home Armed Providers Committee, mentioned the alleged hypersonic missile check ought to “function a name to motion.”

Gallagher mentioned America might “lose the brand new Chilly Struggle with Communist China inside the decade” if the Biden administration sticks to its “present complacent course.”

The US is engaged in a race with China and Russia to develop hypersonic weapons at a time of elevated world tensions.

Hypersonic missiles are designed to journey at a such a excessive velocity that they’ll fly nice distances and transfer rapidly by closely defended airspace to assault targets akin to harbors, airfields and different installations earlier than they are often efficiently shot down.

Russia and China are each growing hypersonic weapons applications and Russia claims to have efficiently examined a missile. The US is specializing in standard hypersonic weapons which are based mostly on ships, land and air platforms.

China first examined a hypersonic missile in 2014 and Russia in 2016.

China’s hypersonic glide automobile, often known as DF-ZF, has been examined a minimum of 9 occasions since 2014, based on the Congressional Analysis Service (CRS).

Shawn Deng, Barbara Starr and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.

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