Source: The Washington Free Beacon
China successfully flight tested its new high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, days after Russia carried out its own hypersonic glider test, according to Pentagon officials.
The test of the developmental DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was monitored after launch Friday atop a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai missile launch center in central China, said officials familiar with reports of the test.
The maneuvering glider, traveling at several thousand miles per hour, was tracked by satellites as it flew west along the edge of the atmosphere to an impact area in the western part of the country.
It was the seventh successful flight test of the revolutionary glider, which travels at speeds between 4,000 and 7,000 miles per hour.
U.S. intelligence officials have assessed that China plans to use the glider to deliver nuclear weapons through increasingly sophisticated missile defenses. The DF-ZF also could be used as part of a conventional strategic strike weapon capable of hitting targets around the world within an hour.
Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban declined to comment on the latest DF-ZF flight test. “But we do monitor Chinese military modernization carefully,” Urban said.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower, said China’s hypersonic missile tests are a concern.
“China’s repeated test of a hypersonic glide vehicle demonstrates Beijing is committed to upending both the conventional military and nuclear balance, with grave implications for the stability of Asia,” Forbes told the Washington Free Beacon.
Read more at The Washington Free Beacon.