China’s military has taken the veils off the latest hypersonic ballistic nuclear missile that is being touted as a nuclear missile that is capable of overcoming all of the existing anti-missile shields that have been deployed by the US and its allies. The vehicle-mounted DF-17 was among the different weapons that were displayed on Tuesday during a big military parade.
The military parade was led by President Xi Jinping for marking the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. A few analysts have termed the new nuclear missile a threat to the regional stability as its speed results in lesser time for the enemy to determine whether it should fire a nuclear weapon in response.
The speed and the fact that this missile relies on different independently-maneuverable re-entry vehicles for the sake of delivering warheads renders the missile not only difficult to detect but also quite tricky to intercept. The DF-17 also features hypersonic glide vehicle technology that allows it to fly at quite a lower altitude before it delivers the warhead.
The parade lasted for about 80 minutes, and during it, Xi could be seen waving while the latest weapons and equipment by China’s military were being shown in Tiananmen Square. He was also joined at the stage by former Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. Among other weapons on display was also the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile that has a reach of between 12,000 and 15,000 kilometers.
As per an analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the missile can strike the continental US within a time frame of 30 minutes. Other weapons that were part of the parade included the JL-2 missile and the latest generation of anti-ship missiles known as YJ-18 as reported by the state-owned television CGTN. An improved radar system was also shown off along with the latest HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles that are ’capable of intercepting multiple air strike weapons in a complex electromagnetic environment.’
Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of Global Times newspaper – owned by the state – said, ‘China with strong military strength is conducive to curb the strategic impulse of external powers towards China.’