The Chinese military executed a hypersonic missile test last week and three members of Congress are already saying the Chinese “appear to be leaping ahead of us” in regards to developing the technology.
It’s hard to tell if they are correct as few details have been released on the test and how it compares to the advances made by the U.S. military, which has executed multiple hypersonic tests in the past few years.
A hypersonic missile must travel between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or 3,840–7,680 miles per hour in order to be considered hypersonic.
U.S., China, India and Russia have all researched hypersonic missiles in order to pierce missile defense systems not built to intercept such fast moving missiles. Today’s cruise missiles travel about 500 to 600 miles per hour.