China’s Hypersonic Missile Test Could Spur a Regional Arms Race

Military vehicles carrying DF-17 missiles participate in the parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Beijing, Oct. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
Military vehicles carrying DF-17 missiles participate in the parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Beijing, Oct. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
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In a move that many observers have likened to the opening scene of a techno-thriller or science fiction novel, China reportedly tested an advanced hypersonic missile in August. Technically known as a Gliding Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, or G-FOBS, the weapon is said to have missed its target by about two dozen miles, according to the Financial Times. It nonetheless represents a significant advance in China’s capabilities and could negatively affect regional stability by spurring an arms race in the Asia-Pacific.  The purpose of FOBS is to place a large payload—usually a nuclear warhead—into a low-Earth orbit, allowing it to […]

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