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China's advanced hypersonic missile threat to India, US, Japan: Report

China eyes artificial intelligence for fire-and-forget cruise missiles

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

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China's new "hypersonic" ballistic missiles will not only challenge the defences of the US but also be able to more accurately hit military targets in and India, a media report said today.

The report in the South Morning Post comes after Tokyo-based The magazine reported that Chinas rocket forces conducted two tests late last year of a new hypersonic glide vehicle or HGV, known as the DF-17.

Citing sources, The last month reported that the (PLA) carried out the first test on November 1 and the second one two weeks later.

Both tests were successful and the DF-17 could be operational by around 2020, the sources were quoted as saying.

Asked about the two tests, today declined to react saying the should be approached for information on this. Both tests were successful and the DF-17 could be operational by around 2020, the sources were quoted as saying.

HGVs are unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable aircraft that glide and "skip" through the earth's atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.

Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less- trackable trajectories. The less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload.

The DF-17 test missiles were launched from the launch centre in Inner and flew about 1,400 km during the trial, The reported.

Chinese first reported on the country's in October, with footage of the system in a hypersonic wind tunnel in various arrays.

Beijing-based said has become part of the nuclear strategy between the worlds three big nuclear powers: China, the US and

"Compared to conventional ballistic missiles, HGVs are more complex and difficult to intercept," Zhou told the South Morning Post.

"The US, and should be worried about Chinas developments in because it can reach targets quicker and more accurately, with military bases in and even nuclear reactors in being targeted, he was quoted as saying by the daily.

eyes for fire-and-forget cruise missiles.

Chinese military specialists said the DF-17 was one of several iterations of developed by the PLA, including the DF-ZF which has been through at least seven tests.

Song Zhongping, a former member of the PLAs Second Artillery Corps, the rocket wings predecessor, said the DF-17 was the weaponised model of the DF-ZF prototype.

Song, a for Hong Kongs Phoenix Television told the Post that the HGV system could be used with various kinds of ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of at least 5,500 km.

He also said multiple HGV warheads could be used with the DF-41, which has a range of at least 12,000 km and can hit anywhere in the US in less than an hour.

Macau-based Dong said HGVs could also be used to target and destroy a US anti-missile system known as THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, which are currently deployed in to war doff---- attacks from

"Chinas HGVs ... could destroy the THAAD radar system if there is war between the two countries, Wong said.

Once the THAAD radars fail to function in the first stage, it could reduce the window to raise the alarm about the PLAs [ICBMs] ... leaving the US without enough time to intercept, he said.

First Published: Tue, January 02 2018. 22:17 IST