China's Hypersonic Vehicle Highlights Cutting Edge Military Technology; Authorities Defend Test Launch As Routine, Not Antagonist
China has tested its first ultra-high-speed missile vehicle, a sign of the nation's substantial focus on technology and a cutting edge military development that raised some concerns in the U.S. The China Defense Ministry confirmed the test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle after it was reported the Washington Free Beacon.
Like Us on Facebook
Defense officials in the U.S. said the hypersonic vehicle, called the WU-14 by the Pentagon, took place over China on Jan. 9, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which reported the test on Jan. 13. Chinese officials made a statement apparently meant to allay American concerns. The two-sentence statement from Chinese defense officials sent to news agencies and state-run media in Beijing said,"Our planned scientific research tests conducted in our territory are normal. These tests are not targeted at any country or at any specific goals."
Officials familiar with some of the details of the vehicle said it is apparently designed to fit on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the Washington Free Beacon. A hypersonic glide vehicle carrying a warhead would be more difficult to detect, track, and intercept than a standard ICBM.
China's military development has caused some concern, although military experts China is not about to catch up with the U.S. "The U.S. still enjoys the leading position in military ability, both strategic weapons and conventional armaments," said Fan Jishe, an expert on U.S. studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, speaking to China Daily. A lack of mutual trust between China and the U.S. is the reason America is worried about China's military development, said Jishe.
"Washington is afraid that China's growing power will reduce its influence in the region and threaten the interests of its allies, such as Japan and the Philippines," Jishe said, while offering the opinion that China has been adequately transparent about its developments in military technology to allow the strengthening of mutual trust among nations.
China has been growing into the biggest missile manufacturer in the world, with two of its major missile manufacturers producing 50,000 missiles, China Daily Mail reported.
© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.