Chinese aircraft carriers to be equipped with hypersonic weapons

The new technology has helped reduce service time to one-tenth of the traditional approach.

According to media reports, researchers from the People’s Liberation Army state that China’s aircraft carriers will soon be able to use hypersonic weapons. The capability to use these is said to be due to a recent breakthrough in logistics technology which simplifies and speeds up the repair and maintenance of the weapons.

The hypersonic weapons are designed to be launched from an aircraft and not the carrier. This gives them the capability of going after a range of high-value targets either in the air or on the surface. Xiao Jun, researcher at the China Airborne Missile Academy, Luoyang, Henan Province, claims they can also be used as anti-satellite weapons.

China’s hypersonic weapons are said to be similar to Russia’s Kinzhal missile. The air-launched weapons can reach 10-times the speed of sound and have a range of 1000 km. This, according to reports, increases China’s carrier fleet combat range to over 2,500 km, along with the capability of ultra-fast air strikes penetrating most air defence systems.

Xiao further stated that the technology required for quick repair and service of these hypersonic weapons has already passed stringent field tests conducted by the military in an aircraft carrier environment as well as other combat situations.

Traditionally, hypersonic weapons require a clean ground-based room with cutting-edge equipment and an experienced service crew to prepare them before use. However, Xiao’s team has developed a unique sealing material to simplify the process. With this in place, it now requires just one worker to prep the missile. The new technology has helped reduce service time to one-tenth of the traditional approach. The unique sealing material also claims to help increase the lifespan of the hypersonic missile to last at least a decade.

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