China, FOBS, and Hypersonic Glide Missiles: Impressive Tech, But Not a Major Shift in the Balance of Power

China, FOBS, and Hypersonic Glide Missiles: Impressive Tech, But Not a Major Shift in the Balance of Power

The fact that the US military establishment may have been taken by surprise is a surprise in itself, as China’s HGV developments were known: China showcased the DF-17 missile for the first time during the 2019 October National Parade, carrying the DF-ZF HGV. CASC’s 11th Academy (CAAA) is also well known for its hypersonic & spaceplane technology research. If China has indeed successfully tested FOBS and/or hypersonic glide technology, it represents a technological step forward for China, but not necessarily anything new. As noted, the Soviets conceptualized FOBS as early as the 1960s, and hypersonic gliders have been developed for some time. As well, the capabilities made possible by FOBS and hypersonic gliders—namely evading missile defense systems—are not a major shift in the balance of power, as current US missile defense systems are not optimized for Chinese ICBMs, nor capable of stopping all Chinese ICBMs in the event that China fired many at one time.

Related:

YouTube: China Fires Most Powerful Domestic SRB to date, Discussing Last Week’s FOBS Test (06:34 China FOBS test)

Previously:

US Response to China’s Hypersonic Missile Test Fails for Third Time

China Tests Hypersonic Glide Vehicle, Pentagon Shocked, Talks of China’s ‘Astounding Progress’