China’s new hypersonic ballistic missile, the DF-17 could destroy the United States defense systems by flying fast and low to evade detection, Chinese military analysts claim. The rockets which could reach speeds of up to 7,680 mph were fired by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in November. According to some reports, the missiles traveled about 1,400 kilometers and passed through the Earth’s atmosphere at ten times the speed of sound. The American defense systems will have less time to intercept the missile because the hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) is able to travel at lower altitudes, Newsweek reports.
According to Song Zhongping, the former member of the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps, the HGV system could carry various kinds of ballistic missiles, including intercontinental with a range of at least 5,500 kilometers. He also said that the HGV warheads could also be used with the DF-41, which has a range of at least 12,000 kilometers and can hit anywhere in the United States.
Meanwhile, Antony Wong Dong, a military expert, thinks that the American anti-missile THAAD defense system could be obliterated with the HGVs.
“China’s HGVs could destroy the THAAD radar system. Once the THAAD radars fail to function in the first stage, it could reduce the window to raise the alarm about the PLA’s… leaving the US without enough time to intercept,” he explained.
At the same time, military analyst Zhou Chenming says that HGVs are more difficult to intercept compared to conventional ballistic missiles.
“The U.S., Japan, and India should be worried about China’s developments in HGV technology because it can reach targets quicker and more accurately, with military bases in Japan and even nuclear reactors in India being targeted,” he said.