October 22, 2021
BEIJING, China—The Chinese military tested its second nuclear-capable hypersonic missile over the summer and reportedly caught US officials off guard, especially since the new Chinese system “defies the laws of physics” and appears to be superior to anything the United States currently has, according to ABC News.
“The US does not currently have the ability to even track this weapon, much less defeat it,” stated retired Marine colonel Steve Ganyard to ABC News.
As a response to China’s tests over the summer, the United States attempted to launch its own missile, called “Dark Eagle” from its testing site in Kodiak, Alaska. However, the hypersonic weapon system was delayed due to rocket failure on Thursday, according to Reuters.
“Dark Eagle” is a joint program by the Army and Navy to develop land and submarine-based hypersonic missiles. The missile is launched by a conventional rocket before gliding to its target at hypersonic speeds, however, it cannot circle the globe. The top speed is 13,000 mph.
China’s “Long March” missile can circle the Earth in low orbit before descending to strike its target and completely evade early warning radars. The feature was specifically designed against the United States and neutralize American missile defenses. The top speed is 21,000 mph.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry denied that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile and claimed it conducted a “routine test” of a reusable space vehicle, reports ABC News.
US intelligence isn’t buying China’s official statement.
“They now have a weapon that we don’t have, we can’t defend against, we can’t even see. So, we are at a strategic disadvantage,” stated Ganyard. “And it is probably the first time since the end of World War II, maybe 1945-46, that the US has been at a strategic disadvantage to any other country. We are behind, and the Chinese have the edge.”
China’s strategic ally, Russia, has also leaped ahead of the United States in hypersonic missile technology. Russia currently possesses 6,800 nuclear weapons compared to America’s 6,185. Russians also have the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created, the Tsar Bomba.
The last time Russia tested the Tsar Bomba in 1961, it produced an insane 57-megaton blast, that’s 3,800 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Although Russia and China have no formal alliance, it is believed Russia would side with China should war ever break out.
Feature Image via Naval News