The sixth flight test of the DZ-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was declared a success on Monday, moving China closer to possessing a global strike capability. China is working on the ultra-fast maneuverable strike weapon, which will be able to penetrate existing missile defense systems, writes Bill Gertz for The Washington Free Beacon. The glide vehicle was launched on top of a ballistic missile from the Wuzhai missile test center in Central China, according to defense officials.
After detaching from the launcher near the edge of space, the vehicle glided to an impact site several thousand miles away. U.S. intelligence agencies tracked the flight, during which the vehicle reach speeds of over five times the speed of sound (Mach 5). Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban declined to comment. “We do not comment on specific PRC weapons tests, but we do monitor Chinese military modernization carefully,” he said. Beijing appears to be placing a high priority on developing the vehicle, which has been tested 6 times since last year. U.S. intelligence agencies believe that the DZ-ZF is a nuclear delivery vehicle that boasts such maneuverability at high speeds that it would dodge existing missile defense systems. FULL REPORT