The new Chinese hypersonic missile scares the United States and makes the climate between Washington and Beijing increasingly similar to that of the Cold War. The latest revelations on the test carried out by Beijing last July contain surprising news and speak of a rocket launched on the South China Sea by the vector that travels at a speed five times higher than that of sound. A new blow, therefore, to what was once considered US supremacy on the front of missile arsenals. And a novelty that worries the White House not a little, with the Pentagon now forced to admit that it is behind in the race for these new super weapons not only compared to China but even to Russia.

The Chinese hypersonic missile: a challenge to physics

The Financial Times, citing intelligence sources, explains how Beijing’s launch of the missile from the hypersonic carrier ‘Long March’ represents an unprecedented demonstration of technological capabilities, a test that challenges physics and that no other country currently seems capable of. able to carry out. Moreover, it is already well known that the United States has been taken by surprise by the progress made by China in recent years, including experts from the American agency that manages scientific research for defense (DARPA): “We are not sure how they are managed to overcome the constraints of physics by launching from a vehicle traveling at hypersonic speeds ».

The Pentagon investigates

There is also debate about what kind of rocket was launched into the sea. Some in the Pentagon believe it was an air-to-air missile, while others think it was a weapon to be used to destroy missile defense systems. However, it can also carry a nuclear warhead. The news coming from the Dragon requires even more acceleration by the US, whose project for a hypersonic weapon is stalled, also due to prohibitive costs. The last test of the Hawc rocket (Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept) dates back to last September, but the Pentagon has asked manufacturers working with the US defense to develop more affordable projects in terms of budget. Currently, the Pentagon’s demand for investments in hypersonic weapons amounts to $ 3.8 billion for 2022, a little more than the funds allocated for 2021.

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