China testing mysterious new ‘speedy’ nukes from carrier, experts say

On December 4, 2018, China claimed to have successfully test-fired a new weapon from an aircraft carrier. According to a Xinhua report, state-run media, the trial was a successful operation of the missile, which…

China testing mysterious new ‘speedy’ nukes from carrier, experts say

On December 4, 2018, China claimed to have successfully test-fired a new weapon from an aircraft carrier. According to a Xinhua report, state-run media, the trial was a successful operation of the missile, which has a range of 600 miles. The test was likely in response to previous U.S. and Japanese tests of weapons that can travel through space.

Analysts from the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences told Reuters that the missile is similar to the Lockheed Martin-made heat-seeking X-37B spacecraft currently in orbit. Washington Post and NPR have said that the new missile is in the X-37B space plane’s fleet.

If this vehicle and the missiles aboard it will have a “delayed-return” feature to enable re-entry into the atmosphere and strike their targets, a launch appears to be almost certain. If so, it could create havoc in future U.S. and Japanese nuclear tests or land-based nuclear missiles.

If it has the delayed-return capability, many technical factors determine the performance of the weapon, for which details are not available. Launched from the aircraft carrier Liaoning, it has a velocity of more than 18,000 kilometers per hour and can reach a range of at least 300 km.

U.S. and Japanese weapon tests, launched from the repurposed Boeing B-52 bomber fleet, have shown that a great deal of technology is needed to make orbital weapons successful. According to i, e, l, l, , and n, there are at least three other potential slow-return ballistic missiles of the Chinese variety.

What can we glean from these technical reports? Only that the Chinese weapons are coming along, and that they are in the works as accurately as the Americans. Chinese military hardware is one of the most advanced in the world, and the U.S. military is rapidly developing its own in order to stay ahead. Here’s to another year of testing.

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