China has tested the first hypersonic cruise vehicle of its own to become the third country after the United States and Russia boasting ultra-high speed missile vehicles. According to Chinese sources, the tested vehicle is of purely scientific importance. But it can eventually prove useful for building hypersonic cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads capable of penetrating missile defenses.

China’s testing its hypersonic vehicle, as well as the resumption of efforts to that end by Russia a few years earlier amount to another spiral of the arms race that was not launched by Beijing or Moscow. Russia and China seek to create weapons that would prove a proper response to the US-developed systems. These are chiefly the missile defence system and the advanced high-speed strike weapons that are created in the framework of the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) concept.

PGS is basically different from modern-day strategic nuclear forces in that it is non-nuclear and therefore does not fall under the restrictions specified for strategic offensive weapons. But the ultimate goal of the programme is delivering high-precision strikes at targets anywhere on the Globe within one hour. The objective has not yet been attained, and may never be fully attained, but the change in the rules of the game did not go unnoticed.

China’s hypersonic cruise vehicle may eventually pose a military threat to the United States in the most sensitive area, – at the centre of the Indo-Pacific region. If guided hypersonic warheads are delivered by medium-range ballistic missiles to a sufficient distance, they may pose a major threat to both the US attack forces and the missile defence system, above all to the “advanced position” naval ships with the Aegis system on board.. see more

source: voice of russia