In theory, the rocket could fly over the South Pole. This could pose a problem for the American missile defense system.
China tested a hypersonic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons in August. Sources for the Financial Times said it “caught” US intelligence by surprise.
In the course of classified tests, the device flew through low-orbit space, but could not reach its intended target, having passed a few tens of kilometers from it. Despite this, the rocket showed “amazing progress in the development of hypersonic weapons,” the newspaper writes.
“We have no idea how they did it,” said a source in the US intelligence community.
FT sources said the rocket could theoretically fly over the South Pole. This could become a problem for the US missile defense system, focused on the north polar direction.
The Pentagon declined to comment on information about the tests, but expressed concern about China’s military activity in general. US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said China’s military capabilities “are fueling tensions in the region and beyond.”
Liu Pengyu, representative of the Chinese Embassy in the United States, noted that China’s military policy is defensive in nature. According to him, Beijing “does not have a global strategy and plans for military operations like the United States.”
He believes the US has in recent years “concocted the myth” of the Chinese threat to justify the development of hypersonic weapons.
The peculiarity of a hypersonic aircraft is that it can maneuver. Details about the arms race in this area in the material How hypersonic missiles are changing the perception of war.
The day before, it was reported that the US military intends to produce in the Pacific Ocean from 20 to 29 October launch of an unknown rocket system.