Russia and China are outpacing the United States in the development of super-fast missile technology, Pentagon officials and key lawmakers are warning.
Russia says it successfully tested a so-called hypersonic missile this month, while China tested a similar system last year expected to enter service soon.
“Right now, we’re helpless,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in advocating for more investment in hypersonics, along with missile defense.
Hypersonics are generally defined as missiles that can fly more than five times the speed of sound.
Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, last week described a hypersonic as a missile that starts out “like a ballistic missile, but then it depresses the trajectory and then flies more like a cruise missile or an airplane. So it goes up into the low reaches of space, and then turns immediately back down and then levels out and flies at a very high level of speed.”
DOZENS of Chinese ships are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a show of force off Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Pictures, provided by Planet Labs Inc, show a Chinese carrier group has entered the trade route as part of combat drills.
The Chinese navy claims the movements are part of routine annual exercises, according to Reuters.
The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defence ministry.
The photos, taken yesterday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of the China’s expanding fleet.
They have emerged less than a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country is prepared to fight bloody battles to retain its right as a superpower.