|U.S. ‘Advanced Hypersonic Weapon’ (AHW)-equipped missile test-fire (U.S. Army) © News 1|
An analysis showed that another projectile was loaded into the hypersonic glide vehicle launched at the time, amid tensions in the United States after China was found to have successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile last summer.
It is a technology that has never been demonstrated in any country so far that another projectil emerged while a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) was separated from the launch rocket and flew in low-Earth orbit. If the system is disrupted or the second target is attacked, it will be difficult to intercept with current U.S. technology.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 22nd (local time) that “These technologies pose not only a threat to the US missile defense system, but also transcend the boundaries of physics, accelerating China’s development of hypersonic missile weapons.” reported like this.
The United States has been nervous since the Financial Times (FT) reported on the 16th of last month that China had tested a hypersonic missile in August. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that it was a spacecraft and not a hypersonic missile, but the Chinese side’s rebuttal was meaningless, as in the same technology, if it is loaded with a warhead, it becomes a missile, and if it is loaded with a satellite, it becomes a spaceship.
In particular, after Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is ranked No. 1 in the US military, expressed his embarrassment by comparing this incident to the ‘Sputnik shock’, in which the Soviet Union first launched a satellite, among the British and American media, China’s technology and weapons development stage at that time is a follow-up Investigation and reporting continue.
According to the WSJ, US military officials believe that China conducted two hypersonic missile tests this summer, in July and August.
|Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the news of China’s successful hypersonic missile test this summer was “like a Sputnik moment.” © Reuters = News1 © News1 Reporter Junhyuk Keum|
◇The “Sputnik Shock” remarks that are being talked about… it made sense
According to the WSJ, China’s state-run Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) said on the 21st that it was “ready to open a new wind tunnel”. A wind tunnel is a device that predicts the speed and altitude of an object in flight, and it varies depending on the wind speed, low speed, high speed, supersonic speed, etc. AVIC explained that the new wind tunnel disclosed by AVIC is a system that can self-replicate the speed and temperature of hypersonic missiles.
The hypersonic glide vehicle is mounted on the tip of a long-range missile and acts as a ‘maneuverable warhead’. It flies toward the target at the moment it is launched, and the key is to make it difficult to intercept by making the low-altitude flight path unpredictable.
However, US officials analyzed that a separate projectile was once again separated from the hypersonic glide vehicle launched by China last summer.
The technology pushes the boundaries of existing physics, stressing that no country has yet demonstrated the ability to launch additional launches through hypersonic glide vehicles.
According to Western missile experts, it represents a significant technical challenge in that the hypersonic glide body is flying at five times the speed of sound and additional launches are made, and the projectile is subjected to very high pressure and heat the moment it is separated from the glide body. .
Experts are divided over the exact role of the additional projectiles. Analysts are also suggesting that it could function as an inductor that disrupts the missile defense system, or that it could be a missile that hits a second target on its own. In any case, it is clear that it is difficult to defend with existing technology.
“Everything is uncertain until the data from the Chinese side is released,” said Melissa Hanham, a missile technology expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterrey.
AVIC explained that the new wind tunnel facility “is twice as wide as the first wind tunnel developed before, and can reproduce up to 8 times the speed of sound.” It was developed over two years and recently passed the test. “The new wind tunnel will further accelerate the R&D of hypersonic weapons equipment in China,” he said.
The WSJ said it had contacted AVIC and China’s Ministry of Defense for further inquiries, but received no response.
In addition to AVIC, the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center (CARDC) is conducting research on hypersonic weapons.
|The British Financial Times (FT) reported on October 16, 2021 that China succeeded in testing a hypersonic missile between July and August. The photo is from the article|
◇The US ’embarrassed’… Accelerate development of defense system in response to new technology
U.S. military authorities have acknowledged that the development of hypersonic weapons is currently lagging behind China’s. In the past five years, the US has only tested nine hypersonic weapons, while China has launched hundreds of hypersonic missiles, Air Force Admiral John Hyton said. Captain Hyton is one of the highest-ranking military officials who resigned after serving as deputy commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was the second highest rank in the U.S. military until recently.
China has already conducted hundreds of test launches of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and the missile successfully flew into space and then descended before the hypersonic glide vehicle and returned. In addition, the U.S. military authorities believe that it has completed the development of a missile that can fire 12 warheads at the same time to hit different targets.
The sense of crisis felt by the United States is considerable. In particular, China’s test-fire of a hypersonic missile this summer raises the possibility of neutralizing the US’ intercepting capabilities. The U.S. missile defense system is mainly deployed in the south and intercepts it by firing missiles toward the North Pole.
Some observers observe that China’s goal is now to maintain its superiority by developing new weapons and delivery methods.
China’s ability to launch hypersonic gliding-body-launched missiles and completeness are putting pressure on the US, which is accelerating the development of US missile defense systems, the WSJ reported.
Securing defense against the new missile technology that China appears to have succeeded in developing is a top priority among US military officials in the Asia-Pacific region, the WSJ added.
The Joe Biden administration plans to release an update to the US missile defense policy early next year along with announcing a new defense policy.
In addition, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently signed a contract with defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and Northrop Grumman to develop a prototype of an interceptor system that will destroy hypersonic glide vehicles in the descent phase. told