Intelligence officials have revealed that China has achieved “dramatic advances” in hypersonic missile technology, rendering them virtually unstoppable and capable of outpacing interception measures.
The DF-17 and its successor, the DF-27, are reported to reach staggering speeds of up to 6,500 miles per hour.
This poses a grave threat to military assets, including aircraft carriers such as Britain’s flagship vessels, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, with a range extending up to 5,000 miles.
Concerns over these hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) have prompted urgent responses from key allies. The UK, Australia, and the US, members of the AUKUS alliance, are now scrambling to devise effective countermeasures against this emerging threat.
Notably, the HGVs’ ability to fly at lower trajectories than conventional intercontinental ballistic missiles makes them exceptionally challenging to intercept, prompting one official to tell MailOnline, “speed is the new stealth”.
While Britain currently lacks hypersonic missiles and the US is still in the testing phase, the urgency to address this technological gap is palpable.
With the capability to carry nuclear payloads, China’s intentions with its HGVs raise alarming possibilities, particularly concerning potential confrontations with US and UK naval forces in regions like the South China Sea.