conventional intercontinental ballistics.
“This is a very significant event of a hypersonic weapons system test, and of great concern,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a television interview. Bloomberg, 28 October 2021.
Milley’s statement is the first official statement by a high-ranking Pentagon official as well as US recognition of China’s ability to develop such advanced weapons.
The hypersonic missile travels at Mach 5, five times the speed of sound while maneuvering through the atmosphere. That’s faster than 3,800 mph.
The missile can reach 15,000 mph as it rises into space. The warheads they carry travel at about 2,000 mph once they re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.
Report Finacial Times said the missile circled Earth at low altitude before descending to its target, which missed about 19 miles.
This weapons test is significant because it shows China has made unexpected progress on its hypersonic weapons system and could start a new arms race.