China's recent nuclear-capable hypersonic missile test demonstrates a military capability threatening to U.S. national security.
Gen. Mark Milley, the nation's top military officer, called the test “very concerning.” Milley confirmed the occurrence of the test, originally reported by the Financial Times, which cited “five people familiar with the test” as its source. Milley declined to provide details due to their classified nature. Chinese officials have denied that the tests involved hypersonic missiles.
The key features of hypersonic missiles, which the U.S. and Russia are also developing, “include flight trajectory, speed and maneuverability that make them capable of evading early warning systems that are part of U.S. missile defenses,” according to AP News. Hypersonic missiles can fly six times faster than the speed of sound.
The U.S government currently spends more than $1 billion per year on hypersonic research.