China successfully tests its hypersonic Starry Sky-2 aircraft that will fire nuclear missiles capable of travelling at 4,563 miles-per-hour to evade existing anti-missile defence systems

Tuesday, August 7, 2018
By Paul Martin

The hypersonic weapon rides on the shockwaves it generates, reports suggest
It can travel at six times the speed of sound – around 7,344km/h (4,563mph)
The flight test was deemed a ‘huge success’ by scientists involved in the project
Experts say it could signal China is now neck-and-neck with Russia and the US

7 August 2018

China has successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons that evade existing anti-missile defence systems, according reports.

The next-generation weapon, known as Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2, will ride the shockwave generated by the initial launch, which is handled by a rocket, to travel at six times the speed of sound, or Mach 6 – around 4,563mph (7,344kmph).

Starry Sky-2 will purportedly be able to switch direction during its flight, making it harder to track and intercept.

When the aircraft fires its missiles, these will also travel at top speeds of 4,563mph (7,344kmph) and will easily defeat conventional anti-missile defence systems.

Scientists involved in the latest test flight have heralded it as a ‘huge success’, with experts saying the aircraft signals China is now neck-and-neck with Russia and the United States in the race to create hypersonic warheads.

China has long been suspected of building an arsenal of hypersonic weapons, but this new test flight is the first proof the technology is actively being developed.

The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) said in a statement the latest test flight – carried out at an undisclosed location in northwest of the country – was a ‘huge success’, writes South China Morning Post.

The Starry Sky-2 aircraft was carried into space before separating from the launcher rocket and flying on its own power.

Known as a ‘waverider’, these hypersonic aircrafts uses the shockwaves from its own flight as a lifting surface to travel through the air at fast speeds.

In the latest tests, the aircraft was able to maintain speeds greater than five-and-a-half times the speed of sound for 400 seconds at an altitude of 30km (19 miles).

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