According to Pentagon officials, China's military has begun testing of a new ultra-high speed missile vehicle, which is designed to deliver warheads through US missile defenses.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle — referred to as WU-14 by the Pentagon — were carried out last week on January 9. The aircraft was detected "travelling at extremely high speeds" over China, and was apparently "designed to be launched atop one of China's intercontinental ballistic missiles", before it glides at speeds over 10 times the speed of sound.
If the story is correct, it would be huge leap forward in terms of China's aircraft arsenal. Indeed, it sounds like it's a rival of the US Military's Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, pictured above, which is also undergoing testing; the fact that China is catching up so quickly is a big deal.
All in, if the sources at the Pentagon are right, it's another sign that China is seeking to build its defence infrastructure apace. Though quite what it plans to do with it remains to be seen. [Washington Free Beacon]