China’s Hypersonic Weapon Ambitions March AheadJanuary 8, 2018
The word “hypersonic” conjures up the idea of immense speed, as it should. The word itself refers to any speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.
Nevertheless, burgeoning hypersonic technologies stand to challenge strategic stability between superpowers. For years, the United States, Russia, and China have been investing considerable resources into the research and development of hypersonic glide vehicles – a decades-old concept that only now is seeing widespread interest.
These weapons, at their core, involve a simple trade-off that sets them apart from their simpler ballistic missile counterparts. They sacrifice long-range ballistic missile re-entry speeds for extended range and their flight pattern allows them to present unique challenges to existing ballistic missile defence systems…