China has high-tech hypersonic missiles before US: Beijing
China is developing a new generation of heat-seeking hypersonic missiles, which Beijing estimates the US army would not have until 2025.
China has developed next-generation hypersonic weapons with technical breakthroughs, namely in infrared homing tech, Chinese scientists said, which the US army may not possess until 2025.
The heat-seeking capabilities of the missiles allow them to home in on the majority of targets, which include stealth aircraft, aircraft carriers, and moving vehicles, with unprecedented accuracy and speed, the researchers added.
The South China Morning Post reported Friday that the first generation of hypersonic weapons was designed to penetrate missile defense systems and hit fixed targets on the ground fivefold the speed of sound or even faster.
The Chinese researchers, from the hypersonic infrared homing program at the National University of Defense Technology, said conventional warfare could be transformed by a hypersonic missile being able to search for, identify, and lock on to a target based on the heat it is emitting when flying at low altitudes where the air is thicker.
The US Air Force says some 90% of all aircraft it had lost since the 80s' were shot down with heat-seeking missiles, and stealth fighters, such as the F-22, could also be targeted due to their coating materials heating up easily in flight.
A Chinese military researcher told an academic conference in 2020 that a ground-to-air hypersonic missile could reach and destroy an F-22 in a matter of seconds if it were to fire a missile or drop a bomb from close range.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby had expressed in October US concerns over China's developing military capabilities, saying those capabilities were making China the main challenge to US actions.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley had previously commented on reports over China testing hypersonic missiles, describing them as "very concerning." He said his country was following up on China's technological advancement.