lørdag 23. oktober 2021

China’s hypersonic glider weapons test threatens to drive new arms race

A new focus on hypersonic glider weapons, after a reportedly successful Chinese test, is helping drive an arms race that is eclipsing hopes of a return to disarmament by the world’s major powers. The Chinese test on 27 July, first reported by the Financial Times, involved putting into orbit a nuclear-capable glider, travelling at five times the speed of sound, which then re-entered the atmosphere and performed some turns on its way to a target. The test suggested that China was further ahead with the technology than was previously known, and despite Chinese denials that it had tested such a weapon, the Biden administration has said it is concerned with the development.

Russia, which has already deployed its version of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle, the Avantgard, announced it had conducted exercises in recent days to defend against hypersonic weapons.