On Wednesday, the Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed the maiden voyage of its first hypersonic glide vehicle, a missile carrier capable of launching a barrage of indefensible nuclear war heads at speeds over Mach 10 — about 7,680 miles per hour.
The Washington Free Beacon on Monday confirmed this finding and cited U.S. Pentagon officials saying that a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) was detected flying at ten times the speed of sound in Chinese airspace on Jan. 9.
The Chinese Defense Ministry has stated that the move is purely scientific and not targeted at any country. The ministry told Reuters that “Our planned scientific research tests conducted in our territory are normal.”
China’s defense budget increased 10.7 percent budget in 2013, to $114.3 billion, according to a report from the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China. That budget is second only to the United States.
In a joint statement released by California Rep. Howard P. McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) on Jan. 14, the Republican congressmen wrote:
“While round after round of defense cuts have knocked America’s technological advantage on its back, the Chinese and other competitor nations push toward military parity with the United States; in some cases, as in this one, they appear to be leaping ahead of us.”
The U.S. is currently in the process of developing two HGVs: the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) and the Boeing X-51 Waverider. Russia and India have also confirmed large budget defense projects aimed at developing HGV technology.
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