China leads world in hypersonic weapons


China’s hypersonic arsenal includes the DF-17, a medium-range ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle that has a range of 1,600 kilometers…reports Asian Lite News

Russia’s repeated use of advanced hypersonic missiles as part of its bombardment of Ukraine may be getting the bulk of the West’s attention, but United States defense officials say it is China that has the world’s leading hypersonic arsenal, Voice of America (VOA) reported.

“While both China and Russia have conducted numerous successful tests of hypersonic weapons and have likely fielded operational systems, China is leading Russia in both supporting infrastructure and numbers of systems,” the Defense Intelligence Agency’s chief scientist for science and technology told U.S. lawmakers on Friday. “Over the past two decades, China has dramatically advanced its development of conventional and nuclear-armed hypersonic missile technologies and capabilities through intense and focused investment, development, testing and deployment,” said the DIA’s Paul Freisthler, testifying in front of the House Armed Services Committee.

VOA reported that unlike ballistic missiles, which fly at hypersonic speeds but travel along a set trajectory, hypersonic weapons are highly maneuverable despite flying at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

According to U.S. defense officials, that high-speed maneuverability makes hypersonic weapons especially difficult to detect and, therefore, difficult to stop.

According to the DIA and information gathered by the Congressional Research Service, China operates two research sites for hypersonic weapons, with at least 21 wind tunnels. Some of the wind tunnels can test vehicles flying at speeds of up to Mach 12.

China’s hypersonic arsenal includes the DF-17, a medium-range ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle that has a range of 1,600 kilometers.

It also has the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile, which also carries a hypersonic glide vehicle. During a test of the system in July 2021, the hypersonic weapon circumnavigated the globe, prompting a top U.S. defense official to compare the incident to the start of the original space race in the 1950s.

Beijing also has the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle, with a range of close to 2,000 kilometers, and the Starry Sky-2, a nuclear capable hypersonic prototype.

Russia’s missile attack against Ukraine on Friday included about six of Moscow’s hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. The Kinzhal travels at speeds of up to Mach 10 and has a range of about 2,000 kilometers.

Russia also has the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which it claims can travel at speeds of more than Mach 20 with a range of more than 10,000 kilometers, and the ship-launched Zircon hypersonic missile, with a top speed of Mach 8 and a range of 1,000 kilometers.

The DIA’s Freisthler said Friday that Moscow is also developing an air-launched hypersonic missile (the Kh-95) and has announced plans to place a hypersonic glide vehicle on its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile.

The U.S. military has been developing a range of hypersonic weapons, all of which are still in testing or development. Officials have said that, unlike China and Russia, Washington has no plans to arm any of its hypersonic weapons with a nuclear warhead. (ANI)

Report urges Australia to prepare for war with China in 3 years

‘Red Alert’ – a joint report of Australian newspapers – The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, warned the country to prepare for war with China in the next three years, reported Taiwan News.

The independent report, entitled “Red Alert,” was authored by five security analysts, namely – Alan Finkel, Peter Jennings, Lavina Lee, Mick Ryan and Lesley Seebeck and published by the Nine Entertainment media group. The report indicates that a conflict involving Taiwan and China is much more likely than most Australian citizens realize, reported Taiwan News.

The general view of the analysts is that Australia is not ready to be drawn into a war involving China and Taiwan, but that the country should begin preparing with a sense of urgency.

Further, given the country’s alliance with the US, it would be very difficult for Australia to avoid involvement in a war, the report said.

“An attack on Taiwan is the subject of most speculation but not the only scenario which would threaten Australia’s security and prosperity. Australia must not prepare itself for a single scenario. Instead, it must put a priority on flexibility to deal with many contingencies. Democracies rarely predict their next war, and the next war is guaranteed not to be like the last,” the report added.

“Our assessment of the risk of war is based on President Xi Jinping’s aggressive stance and rapid military build-up,” the Red Alert report read. It suggests a three-year time frame because, according to the analysis, “a tipping point” will be reached around 2027, after which “Beijing will have military superiority over the US in the Taiwan Strait.”

The analysts also factor in China’s demographic crisis. They suggest that from Xi’s perspective, there is only a limited window in which China will be capable of pursuing such a large scale military operation, reported Taiwan News.

“Xi judges China to have greater political will than the US and its allies. Yet Xi must fear that this advantage could be temporary as China’s population shrinks and its economy slows. This window of opportunity will not be open for long. Xi may be tempted to strike at the moment of greatest opportunity. A weakening China is no less dangerous,” added the report.

On the issue of whether the Australian government would support the US and Taiwan in a conflict, one analyst, Mick Ryan said the decision has already been made. “We have made our choice. If the United States goes to war with Taiwan, we are going to support them one way or the other,” he said.

Australia finds itself in a precarious position, because its greatest trading partner is also the greatest potential threat to its sovereignty. The analysts believe that Canberra would not be able to resist involvement because the consequences of allowing China to conquer Taiwan would imperil the regional and global order, and thereby, Australia’s own livelihood, reported Taiwan News.

“Any attack on Taiwan is neither a marginal matter nor a local one. If successful, it would strike at the heart of global norms that have underpinned international security and prosperity . . . South-East Asia and the Pacific island states could then be dominated by Beijing. Australia’s commercial and security lifelines to the world would operate only at Beijing’s pleasure. Australia would be highly vulnerable to economic coercion, military intrusion or both,” states the report. (ANI)

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