BEIJING – China is developing a series of potentially disruptive technologies, including electromagnetic firearms and directed energy weapons, according to a new report by the US Department of Defense on Thursday.
“China is pursuing a number of advanced military capabilities with disruptive potential such as hypersonic weapons, electromagnetic railguns, directed energy weapons, and counterspace capabilities,” the Defence Department said in its 2019 China Military Power Report to Congress.
The report also recalls that China successfully tested hypersonic vehicles last year.
“In August 2018, China successfully tested the XINGKONG-2 (Starry Sky-2), which it publicly described as a hypersonic waverider vehicle,” the report said.
The US Department of Defense believes that these results show a connection between Science and the Armed Forces in China. According to the Americans, China’s willingness to rapidly implement technologies on a massive scale means that its Armed Forces will soon benefit from scientific advances in the country.
In February, Heather Wilson, secretary of the US Air Force, said that the US is closer to developing a hypersonic missile that travels at five times the speed of sound.
Wilson, speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, said an effort was being made to keep pace with other nations in the development of new missile systems.
The US Air Force currently operates 80 satellites in space, the secretary added. Her comments followed reports suggesting Russia was also developing new missile systems after Washington announced plans to exit from the landmark INF Treaty.
Moscow and Washington had been accusing each other of violating the treaty long before the United States announced it was withdrawing from the pact, thereby giving Russia six months to choose between leaving the INF Treaty or following its rules. Russia has denied committing any violations and announced that it has started to develop new weapons systems in order to keep up with the US and China.