U.S. Military 'Very Concerned' About Chinese Weapons Test
China recently conducted a “very concerning” test of a hypersonic weapon system as part of its aggressive advance in space and military technologies, the top US military officer says, Robert Burns, Lolita C. Baldor, and Alexandra Jaffe reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the first Pentagon official to confirm on the record the nature of a test this year by the Chinese military that the Financial Times had reported was a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon that was launched into space and orbited the Earth before re-entering the atmosphere and gliding toward its target in China.
Milley said he could not discuss details because aspects involved classified intelligence. He said the US also is working on hypersonic weapons, whose key features include flight trajectory, speed, and maneuverability that make them capable of evading early warning systems that are part of US missile defenses.
The US has not conducted a hypersonic weapon test of the sort Milley said China had achieved.
“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system, and it is very concerning,” Milley said on “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” on Bloomberg Television.
“I think I saw in some of the newspapers, they used the term Sputnik moment,” he added. “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. So it’s a very significant technological event that occurred, or test that occurred, by the Chinese. And it has all of our attention.”