On December 2, China conducted the third test of the Wu-14 missile in western China, viewed as a “strike vehicle” for China’s strategic nuclear program and potentially one of the most dangerous weapons in China’s arsenal.
Various reports citing Pentagon sources confirm the Wu-14 was once again tested this week, after having been tested on January 9 and August 7. In its latest flight, it has reportedly hit speeds of approximately 7,680 miles per hour (Mach 10).
In January, Chinese state media responded to the reports of missile testing with a statement assuring international observers that the missile was not meant as a military threat, despite its obvious capabilities in war. “China’s planned domestic scientific research and experiments are normal and are not aimed at any country or target,” said a statement by the Defense Ministry of the nation then.
The August test of the Wu-14 was followed by reports that the Pentagon was working on its own hypersonic missiles, though not, allegedly, in direct response to China’s work.
The hypersonic missile program has been years in the making. In 2009, the US Naval Institute (USNI) reported that China was developing a “kill weapon” for their nuclear program. They warned that the weapon could be used to “strike carriers and other US vessels at a range of 2000km.” The report mentions the possibility of such a weapon to go at Mach 10 speed.
USNI described the weapon as a missile that could carry a warhead large enough to “destroy a US supercarrier in one strike.”
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