WU-14 Hypersonic Weapon System
China has been aggressively pursuing research into so-called hypersonic weapons and could be easily used against America or Russia. Hypersonics travel much faster than conventional weapons, cutting enemy reaction times and imparting tremendous kinetic energy on their target. Such weapons would allow China to quickly cover the vastness of Russia; a hypersonic weapon launched from western China could strike Moscow within twenty minutes.
On June 7th, China tested its WU-14 hypersonic weapon for the fourth time in eighteen months. Boosted by a repurposed DF-21 intermediate-range missile to speeds of up to Mach 10, the unpowered weapon then glides to target. The high speed and flight profile of boost-glide weapons makes them difficult to intercept by conventional surface-to air-missiles and anti-ballistic missiles.
Although not yet a deployable weapon, the WU-14 will be instrumental in developing real hypersonic weapons systems in the near future. Future hypersonic weapons could be launched from aircraft, ships and land-based launchers, providing a fast, accurate, conventional or nuclear, first-strike weapon.