China this week conducted the fourth successful test of a new hypersonic vehicle which is capable of delivering nuclear strikes and may be able to render US anti-missile defense systems “obsolete.”
The test of the Wu-14 hypersonic strike vehicle was carried out Sunday, launched atop a ballistic missile fired from a test facility in western China, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The vehicle executed “extreme maneuvers” that intelligence officials say are meant to test the ability to dodge US anti-missile defense systems.
The Wu-14 travels high in the atmosphere on the edge of space while carrying nuclear or conventional warheads. The high-tech vehicle also can travel at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound or around 7,680 miles per hour.
“Hypersonic glide vehicles could render existing US missile defense systems less effective and potentially obsolete,” the report said.
In addition to the glide vehicle, China is also developing a second hypersonic weapon that uses a high-technology scramjet engine.
“With four tests in about a year and a half, it is possible that China could conclude development of an early version for deployment in one to two years,” Rick Fisher, a China expert with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said in an interview with the Free Beacon.
To date, the US Army has conducted only two tests of its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon; the latest test resulted in the missile launcher blowing up shortly after liftoff.
Full article: China Conducts Fourth Test of Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicle (Sputnik News)