CHINA has conducted a “world first” ballistic missile test that can come “within metres” of its target, US officials have confirmed.
By Dan Falvey 03:08, Fri, Dec 29, 2017 | UPDATED: 03:45, Fri, Dec 29, 2017
In November, China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force conducted two flight tests of a new ballistic missile that was attached to a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV).
A HGV is a form of aircraft that is capable of speeds five times faster than the speed of sound, allowing it to deliver nuclear weapons to their target in a matter of seconds.
According to the US official the test was “the first HGV test in the world using a system intended to be fielded operationally”.
Both the US and Russia have been working hard on their own tests of HGVs, but neither are believed to have conducted tests for a system that could be operational.
James Syring, Director of the US Missile Defence Agency, said in June that attempts to harness HGVs span back over seventy years but are only now being tested with the intention of being used.
He said: “Although hypersonic glide vehicles and missiles flying non-ballistic trajectories were first proposed as far back as World War Two, technological advances are only now making these systems practicable.”
The new tests conducted by China are their first since the ruling Communist Party’s annual Congress in October.