Will hypersonic DF-17 missile transform Beijing’s Taiwan strategy?

  • If hypersonic boost-glide missiles can penetrate US shields in Indo-Pacific region, they could prevent warships coming to island’s aid
  • Military experts say HGV technology may be added to other DF family missiles

South China Morning Post
Date: 16 Nov, 2019
By: Minnie Chan  

China’s DF-17 hypersonic boost-glide missile may be powerful enough to penetrate US missile shields in the region, transforming Beijing’s previously defensive strategy of containing independence-leaning forces in the Taiwan Strait.

Observers were surprised to see 16 DF-17s on their launchers during the October 1 National Day parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, with its wedge-shaped payload very different from the other member of the DF family.

An early version of the payload was first flagged in 2017 on state broadcaster CCTV, at that time described variously as a DF-ZF and WU-14. Seven hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) technology tests were conducted from 2013, according to state media.

China fires up new hypersonic missile challenge to US defences

Zhou Chenming, a Beijing-based military expert, said the DF-17 missile had extended China’s range from the Taiwan Strait to the US military base in Yokosuka, Japan. While the primary aim was to deter an independence movement taking hold in the self-ruled island, China was now in a position to prevent a possible intervention by the US aircraft carrier strike group, should Beijing decide to take back the island by force.    [FULL  STORY]

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