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La Jornada newspaper
Tuesday, November 23, 2021, p. 33

Washington. China tested a hypersonic missile capable of launching a projectile months ago, technology that neither the United States nor Russia currently possesses, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

When confirming information published yesterday by the British Financial Times, the US newspaper reported that China carried out in July a test that involved a sophisticated maneuver in which a projectile was launched from a hypersonic missile in mid-flight.

This move shows that China’s capabilities in this field are superior to what has been known so far, the Wall Street Journal added, citing unidentified US officials.

According to the Financial Times, the experts at Darpa (the Pentagon’s research agency) do not know how China has managed to launch a projectile from a vehicle flying at hypersonic speed, that is, five times the speed of sound.

They also do not know the nature of the projectile, which fell into the sea, according to the British newspaper, which cites people who had access to information from the intelligence services. Some experts think that it is an air-to-air missile, and others a decoy designed to protect the hypersonic missile in case of conflict.

The Financial Times reported in October that Beijing launched a hypersonic missile in August that circled Earth in orbit before landing on its target, eventually missing by a few kilometers.

Beijing denied that it was a missile test, claiming that it had only tested the technology of a reusable space vehicle.

However, US General Mark Milley reported a few days after a very significant test of a hypersonic weapon system, without specifying the date.

And he also compared it with the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite, called Sputnik, which surprised the United States and opened the race for space conquest.