The United States has been developing hypersonic missiles for years, although US military officials warn that China, and possibly Russia as well, may be pressing ahead.
A few days ago, Russian officials said that the military had launched a hypersonic cruise missile from a warship that had hit its test target in the Arctic.
“We are not as advanced as the Chinese or the Russians in terms of hypersonic programs,” General David Thompson, vice president of space operations, said at the Halifax International Security Forum this weekend. The United States has to “catch up very quickly”.
To catch up, on Friday, the United States announced that it will put More than 60 million dollars (£44m) towards developing weapons to protect the country from hypersonic attacks.
Over the past five years, China has conducted hundreds of hypersonic tests, while The United States carried out only nineJohn Hyten, vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week on CBS News.
It also appears that China is building large missile silos across the country, based on analysis of satellite imagery.
Beijing’s increasingly hostile rhetoric, combined with apparently increasing military power, has led to fears of an outbreak of physical conflict.
former china He denied reports of a hypersonic missile test, saying instead that it is part of a national space research effort.
The government has also always claimed that its military program is only aimed at ensuring peace and stability, especially in its territory. The challenge, however, is that Beijing claims the disputed areas considered international waters, and entire tracts belonging to other countries.
Leader Xi Jinping made it a priority to modernize the country’s army, spending billions on developing new weapons.
China’s 2021 defense budget has been announced at 1.36 trillion yuan (£160 billion), although experts generally believe it spends far more than it reveals.
Defense experts have long highlighted that the Chinese military’s biggest flaw is a lack of combat experience, which makes it difficult to know how soldiers will perform under pressure in the field.