China Tests Orbital Hypersonic Weapon

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In July and August, China tested two hypersonic weapons, according to “people familiar with US intelligence assessments.” The first weapon, tested July 27, incorporated a fractional orbital bombardment system-like launch vehicle, which partly orbited the Earth before releasing a hypersonic weapon that reentered the atmosphere. Officials stated the weapon “missed its target by about two-dozen miles.” A second test took place on August 13. In response to intial reporting of the July test, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied testing a weapons system, stating the July launch was a “routine test of spacecraft to verify technology of spacecraft’s reusability.”