But the chilling test has alarmed US officials and shows how China has made astonishing progress on the development of its hypersonic weapons, sources said. A hypersonic missile travels five times faster than the speed of sound and can reach distances of up to 1,500 miles, with Russia using the technology to build cutting-edge missiles in recent years.
Asian superpowers have been scrambling to build the powerful weapons in a terrifying arms race. An Asian national security official and a Chinese security expert close to the People’s Liberation Army said the weapon in China was being developed by the country's Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics. A number of rocket launches have been publicly announced by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology - but the hypersonic missile test in August was reportedly kept secret.