The Wu-14 Hypersonic Jet launched from an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System travels at Mach 10 on the Edge of Space carrying Nuclear Warheads
The Chinese government has gotten serious about their military advancements in recent years. Not only with aggressive moves in the South China Sea, but with several tests of breakthrough weapons never before seen. The Wu-14 has been tested at least 6 times in the last 2 years.
According to IHS Janes 360: “A sixth test of China’s hypersonic maneuvering strike vehicle, the DF-ZF (previously designated the WU-14), took place on 23 November, 2015, according to US officials.”
Is this a “space-craft”? Well it travels on the edge of space, so yes and no. It is unmanned and technically a drone. The craft has more than enough capability of travel in space, but the international laws of war prevent it from doing so. So the Chinese just have it travel on the edge…Sounds like another international airspace conflict brewing if you ask me…
This craft, known as the Wu-14 travels between Mach 5 and Mach 10 which is somewhere in the vicinity of 3500 and 7400 Mph. Sources say the hypersonic vehicle can travel up to 9,000 Mph! This means circling the Earth in 2.5 hours. At this speed, the vehicle can out maneuver any missile system currently active.
If the vehicle was launched from a sub or aircraft carrier in one of the oceans, then a strike to nearly any country would happen in just a couple of minutes.
According to Sputnik International: “Citing US defense and national security reporter Bill Gertz, the expert suggested that the WU-14 “threatens to neutralize US strategic missile defenses with the unique capability of flying at ultra-high speeds and maneuvering to avoid detection and tracking by radar and missile defense interceptors.””
Many analysts say the weapon is more “defensive” in nature than “offensive”. Though the best defense is a strong offense. The United States and Russia also have hypresonic flight systems being developed. The United States was the first to publicly announce tests of such technology. This was followed by China, then Russia.