Recently, the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down by the US navy has captured headlines in latest weeks, with even the Andaman area reporting related balloons that violated airspace.
In 2018, footage was broadcast on Chinese state-owned tv CCTV displaying a high-altitude balloon, just like the one which traveled over the India, US and Canada on January 2023, dropping what gave the impression to be hypersonic weapons. The concern is that China may additionally use such balloons to deploy hypersonic weapons.
The video confirmed a high-altitude balloon carrying three wedge-shaped payloads, which gave the impression to be hypersonic glide automobiles (HGVs), being dropped as a part of a weapons check. The South China Morning Post reported that the HGVs dropped by the balloon had been a part of an effort to develop precision warheads for hypersonic weapons, giving the Chinese navy an “unstoppable nuclear-capable weapon.”
The wedge-shaped payloads had been just like designs revealed in 2017 by CCTV, believed to be related to China’s under-development DF-ZF HGV, which turned operational in October 2019. The DF-ZF HGV can journey at speeds between Mach 5 and 10 and carry out evasive maneuvers to dodge enemy defenses.
It may be carried by China’s Dong Feng-17 (DF-17) medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), which has a variety of 1,800-2,500km and a launch weight of 15,000kgs. Reports counsel that the HGVs dropped by the balloon within the footage might have contributed to the event of the hypersonic glide automobile (HGV) secretly examined by China in July 2021, which sparked concern among the many US navy’s brass. The glide automobile traveled round 24,800 miles (39,911 km) in house earlier than re-entering the environment and hitting its floor goal, based on a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report. The DIA report acknowledged that the flight check lasted greater than 100 minutes, making it “the greatest distance covered and longest flight time of any Chinese land-attack weapons system to date.”
At the time, Gen. John Hyten, then-Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the HGV gave the impression to be supposed for a “first-use” nuclear strike in opposition to the United States.
According to Paul Crespo, president of the Center for American Defense Studies, the latest motion of the balloon throughout the US and Canadian nationwide airspace might be a trial run for an assault utilizing a balloon-mounted weapon. However, hypersonic missiles are most likely not China’s first selection. “The biggest threat is sending one or more of these high altitude balloons over the US with a small nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) device,” Crespo advised. “Detonated at extremely high altitude, they could knock out power and communications across the US, causing widespread havoc for a year or more without firing a shot on the ground.”
There is concern within the US in regards to the vulnerability of the nation’s grid infrastructure to nuclear high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) assaults, apparently as a result of lack of ample consideration from the Biden administration. An American skilled on EMP warfare, the late Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, revealed a report in July 2020, throughout his tenure because the Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, warning of the hazards of such assaults.
- CCTV footage of the high-altitude balloon check: https://twitter.com/dafengcao/standing/1043036417843056641
- South China Morning Post article on precision warheads: https://www.scmp.com/information/china/navy/article/2166298/china-takes-step-towards-precision-warheads-unstoppable-nuclear
- India at present video report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czB-OsYVd1w