The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - BY BILL GERTZ

China re­cently dis­closed details of its high-pri­or­ity pro­gram to build ul­tra-high-speed ma­neu­ver­ing mis­siles, as Rus­sia is ad­vanc- ing its hy­per­sonic weapons.

The Chi­nese pro­gram, which had been shrouded in se­crecy, in­cludes a na­tion­wide re­search and tech­nol­ogy pro­gram that has achieved what ex­perts say is rapid ad­vance­ment to­ward field­ing weapons ca­pa­ble of de­feat­ing strate­gic mis­sile de­fenses.

China’s dis­clo­sures were made in early March dur­ing a con­fer­ence on space planes and hy­per­sonic sys­tems, Avi­a­tion Week re­ported from China.

“While progress in some spe­cific de­fense ar­eas — most no­tably the re­cent flight tests of the DF-ZF/WU-14 hy­per­sonic glide ve­hi­cles — was not dis­cussed, the progress in­di­cated by the un­der­ly­ing re­search makes it read­ily ap­par­ent that China is mak­ing strides in hy­per­sonic ca­pa­bil­ity much faster than pre­vi­ously thought,” the mag­a­zine re­ported on April 14.

The Chi­nese for the first time showed off an im­age of a scram­jet-pow­ered mis­sile that can fly at speeds of up to Mach 7 (5,370 miles per hour) and at an alti­tude of 18.7 miles.

China’s other sys­tem is the DF-ZF, a hy­per­sonic glider that launched on a mis­sile and ma­neu­vers to its tar­get. That sys­tem has been tested six times and has raised con­cerns in the U.S. mil­i­tary.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Strate­gic Com­mand com­man­der, told Congress this month that China’s devel­op­ment of hy­per­sonic weapons was un­der­min­ing U.S. nu­clear de­ter­rence strat­egy. In Rus­sia, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry

Ro­gozin said on April 20 that Moscow’s high­speed arms devel­op­ment is com­pa­ra­ble to those of the United States.

“We have said about it be­fore, about the fact that we are de­vel­op­ing our own sys­tems within the frame­work of the is­sues re­lated not to su­per­sonic, but to hy­per­sonic weapons on an equal level with the United States,” Mr. Ro­gozin said.

“How­ever, I would not like to com­ment on ev­ery leak con­nected to some sources in the de­fense in­dus­try or in the de­fense min­istry.”

He was re­fer­ring to re­ports on Moscow’s Zir­con hy­per­sonic cruise mis­siles.

Rus­sia’s De­fense Min­istry an­nounced April 16 that some hy­per­sonic weapons and other ad­vanced arms will be de­ployed with the Rus­sian mil­i­tary by 2025.

The Pen­tagon is de­vel­op­ing a space plane that

could be used as a hy­per­sonic weapon. It is also re­search­ing a scram­jet-pow­ered hy­per­sonic mis­sile and a hy­per­sonic at­tack glider.

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