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Inside the Ring: Documents leaked by airman Jack Teixeira reveal China’s advanced hypersonic arms

China has tested a new hypersonic missile that could be used for long-range land and ship attacks in a future conflict. The DF-27 missile was tested on 25 February, and is designed as a “multi-role” hypersonic glide vehicle. The test, which lasted 12 minutes and covered around 1,300 miles, would pose a challenge to existing missile defence systems. The missile is designed to “hold targets at risk beyond the Second Island Chain”, according to a classified Pentagon report that was part of documents leaked by a 21-year-old National Guard airman. The DF-27 is expected to have an anti-ship variant and a land attack variant. The issue was raised during testimony by Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, to the Senate Armed Services Committee. In the same leaked documents, China was described as having “almost certainly” set up a unit to operate supersonic unmanned aerial spy planes, capable of travelling at around 2,300 miles per hour. Both issues were brought up by Rep. Matt Gaetz during the hearing. The US is concerned about China’s ability to take out carrier groups and other naval assets.

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