China’s hypersonic weapon has an orbital nature – Space Force

WASHINGTON – Comments continue on China’s mysterious hypersonic weapon, which was fired in November this year. A new version of the capabilities emerged from a statement by Space Force Lieutenant General Chance Saltzman, the Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, has learned.

Chinese hypersonic weapon fired a separate missile mid-flight
Photo credit: The Drive

According to Saltzman, the Chinese hypersonic weapon has an orbital character, ie. may remain in orbit indefinitely until the client [or its user – ed.] decides otherwise. As we reported earlier, the mysterious thing about Chinese hypersonic weapons is the fact that during its test flight, which traveled the world at one point, it released another body that hit a target located in China. Ie Saltzman believes that China’s hypersonic glider can launch its projectiles.

“This is a categorically different system, because a fractional orbit is different than suborbital,” Saltzman continued. “A fractional orbit means it can stay on orbit as long as the user determines and then it de-orbits it as a part of the flight path.”

The definition and knowledge of fractional orbit are as follows – this is the orbit that the rocket reaches and returns to earth. However, the common working definition of so-called Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems (FOBS), of which China’s system would seem to be a particularly novel example, has often been expanded to include concepts that do complete one or more revolutions. Saltzman is suggesting here that the Chinese system is designed to spend a more protracted period in space.

The reason for Saltzman’s statement above is that different definitions of Chinese weapons are used in the media – hypersonic or suborbital. We remind you that everything that moves at a speed of flight above 5 Mach is hypersonic. A suborbital object reaches space but does not enter any orbits around the planet. Such weapons are intercontinental ballistic missiles.

One thing is clear – no one explains how exactly China managed to release the payload or missile at a speed five times the speed of sound. If this release had taken place in orbit or space, it would not have been something new or unusual, as space rockets have been doing for years. However, the release took place during a hypersonic flight into the atmosphere. It is this fact that tells experts that China, unlike the United States and Russia, has reached a technological breakthrough.

China is testing its hypersonic weapons in July and August this year. It is unclear whether he tested the same function on his hypersound during the second test in August. If so, this fact is quite puzzling and disturbing, because it suggests that neither the United States nor Russia has been able to detect Beijing’s new technological solutions.

Of course, China has denied such a test and similar functionality to its hypersonic weapons, doing so through its embassy in London, UK.

Interesting fact – it turns out that the idea of ​​releasing a payload or other type of ammunition during a flight at hypersonic speed is not new, but one that is already being developed. The United States, for example, is working on the idea of ​​a hypersonic missile dispersing ammunition. This program is called Vintage Racer and its launch was given only two years ago, in 2019.

Another possibility is the future American ballistic missile Precision Strike Missile [PrSM], about which we have repeatedly written to release swarms of unmanned ammunition or drones.


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