China successfully launched a hypersonic strike weapon that can shoot and launch missiles around the planet with up to 6 times the speed of sound. They tested it on August 3 and were pretty much successful with the whole programme.
The aircraft, known as Starry Sky-2, is reportedly capable of screaming across the sky at speeds of up to 4,563 mph (7,344 km/h) and rapidly switching direction mid-flight. It was launched in space on a multistage fueled rocket in an undisclosed location in northwestern China. The max speed was reportedly Mach 6 or 4,600 miles per hour, according to the state-run China Daily.
The Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2) hypersonic experimental waverider vehicle is designed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing and can reportedly achieve a top speed six times the velocity of sound. A waverider is a type of hypersonic aircraft that rides the shock waves generated during hypersonic flight.
“Announcing the successful test to the public indicates that China must have already made a technological breakthrough with the weapon,” Chinese military expert and commentator Song Zhongping told China’s highly-nationalist Global Times, adding, “The test showed that China is advancing shoulder to shoulder with the US and Russia.”
The US and Russia are also experimenting with hypersonic systems, but China’s progress in this area has some observers on edge. “If you look at some of our peer competitors, China being one, the number of facilities that they’ve built to do hypersonics, surpasses the number we have in this country. It’s quickly surpassing it by 2 or 3 times. It is very clear that China has made this one of their national priorities,” DARPA director Steven Walker told Defense One in March, “We need to do the same.”