China secretly launched 6,500mph hypersonic missile that could beat US missile defences, bombshell leaked spy docs show
- Published: 16:06 ET, Apr 11 2023
- Updated: 21:05 ET, Apr 11 2023
CHINA has secretly launched a 6,500mph hypersonic missile that could beat US defence systems, according to leaked spy documents.
The classified US military documents suggest that Beijing conducted an experimental hypersonic weapons test in February.
One of China’s experimental missiles, the DF-27 hypersonic glide vehicle, was launched on February 25, the Washington Post reports.
The missile flew for 12 minutes over a distance of 1,300 miles and had a “high probability” of hitting the US ballistic missile defence systems.
The DF-27 missile – designed to carry hypersonic glide vehicles – is a successor to the DF-17 and is believed to be still under development.
It is believed it could penetrate US air defences thanks to its extended range – and would open up a number of other targets.
It belongs to the third-generation of China’s nuclear weapons – the same arsenal of equipment as the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile.
The missile can carry 10 nuclear warheads with a range of more than 14,000km – making it capable of striking any location on Earth, according to Chinese media.
The leaked documents also included details of a new Chinese warship and a rocket launch in March.
It appears that the classified Pentagon documents were initially shared on various social media sites – including the video game chat platform Discord the online messaging board 4Chan, the encrypted Telegram global messaging app, and Twitter.
Although the documents have come to light in the past few days, at least some of them have been circulating on social media since March or even January, according to Bellingcat.
The site traced the earliest references to the leak to a now-defunct Discord server and cited three former users as saying that a large number of documents had been shared there.
“After a brief spat with another person on the server about Minecraft Maps and the war in Ukraine, one of the Discord users replied ‘here, have some leaked documents’ – attaching 10 documents about Ukraine, some of which bore the ‘Top Secret’ markings,” Bellingcat wrote in a new report.
The report states the user had found them on another Discord server that is a fan page for a Filipino YouTuber.
The report added: “Posts and channel listings show that the server’s users were interested in video games, music, Orthodox Christianity, and fandom for the popular YouTuber ‘Oxide.’”
It comes as China has warned its “carrier killer” missiles will strike down US forces before they can come to the aid of Taiwan.
An editorial by Global Times newspaper said: “PLA is 100 percent prepared for any foreign interference in the Taiwan question, whether it is military intervention, economic sanctions or attempt at political isolation by the US”.
It insisted “the Chinese mainland will have a response plan and will not back down”.