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The "bells" of war are ringing, the Defense Intelligence Agency warns that China is preparing to strike US bases in the Pacific with hypersonic weapons
Written by Elmas Bogdani 17 Mars 2023
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) raises the alarm and warns that China is developing the possibility of striking US bases in the Pacific with hypersonic weapons. Paul Freisthler, head of the DIA's science and technology division, testified last week before the US House Armed Services Committee, noting that the military intelligence agency is closely monitoring Beijing's progress.
The threat from China
Indeed, Freisthler stated, China is even more threatening than Russia to the US in this area: "While China and Russia have conducted numerous successful tests of hypersonic weapons and possibly fielded operational systems, China-Russia both in support of infrastructure and in the number of effective "systems" available and, according to Dia, would potentially have the weapons to strike US bases in the Indo-Pacific, from Guam to those stationed in South Korea and Japan.
The carriers of interest are the Dongfeng-17 (Df-17) and the Dongfeng-41 (Df-41). The first is a medium-range ballistic vector capable of striking beyond 1,500 km; the second, however, as Paolo Mauri recalled in these columns, is an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile. The Chinese missiles are at the head of the PLARF (People's Liberation Army Missile Forces), the missile unit of the armed forces that also controls the potential Df-21 "carrier killers", anti-ship missiles with a large projection for Chinese coastal interdiction. ability of the People's Republic. Freisthler is quick to identify Beijing as the number one threat. For some time, Dia has pushed to consider, like the rest of the Pentagon and the most prominent American generals, China and not Russia as America's number one enemy with which to direct confrontation. And the alarm from Dia's chief scientist serves to send a warning to Washington lawmakers about the need to follow Beijing (and Moscow) who are now considered dominant in the field of hypersonic weapons.
Use of hypersonic weapons
"It's kind of like a race to the moon," Professor Iain Boyd, professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado, told Science. "National pride is at stake," he added, recalling that much of tomorrow's military and ballistic competition is at stake in the race for vectors capable of exceeding Mach 5 or Mach 10. The Pentagon invests a billion dollars a year in weapons research, which for now, in the US, are in the prototype stage, while China already has at least two research bases and up to twenty-one wind tunnels to test its missiles. her. Russia is focused on using hypersonic weapons as vectors for its ballistic offensive in Ukraine. Precious hypersonic missiles make up for the lack of traditional warheads. "The Chinese Army," Science continues, "Instead he sees hypersonic weapons (as well as cyberwarfare and electromagnetic pulse attacks) as a 'killer club': a popular term for a weapon that gives an advantage against a better-armed enemy." From this perspective, a deployment scenario is clearly regional: "if tensions were to rise over Taiwan or the South China Sea, for example, China might be tempted to launch pre-emptive strikes with conventional hypersonic weapons, which could paralyze US forces in "Pacific Ocean". And from this perspective, one should not underestimate the possibility of China arming its carriers with nuclear warheads, overturning the strategic balance at the regional level. A "chaos plan" that is what Dia warns the US must prevent with every condition. The race for ballistic supremacy continues. And despite Vladimir Putin's constant, menacing displays of power, American strategic thinkers have no doubts: the real threat, as in other sectors, here is called Beijing.