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The senior US general confirmed that the Chinese military had successfully carried out the test launch of a hypersonic missile, the first of its kind.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Bloomberg Television’s Dave Rubenstein on Wednesday that the weapon’s launch and existence in the Chinese arsenal was “of great concern” to the US military. .

“What we saw was a very important event in a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning,” he told Mr. Rubenstein, billionaire chairman of the capital firm. -investment Carlyle Group.

“I don’t know if it’s a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. He has our full attention, ”he continued.

The comments are the first official confirmation from an American general of the weapon’s existence. The launch had already been reported just under two weeks ago by the Financial Times, and immediately denied by a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“It wasn’t a missile, it was a spaceship,” the spokesperson said. “This is of great importance for reducing the cost of using spacecraft.”

At the time, US officials challenged the Financial Time that the missile circled the globe in low orbit before landing about 24 miles from its intended target. The launch took place in August, five sources told the newspaper.

“We have no idea how they did this,” an unnamed US official said.

Days after the report was released, the Biden administration’s envoy to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament told reporters that the United States currently has no effective defense against such weapons, believed to be be nuclear capable.

“We are concerned about what China is doing on the hypersonic,” Robert Wood told reporters.

“We just don’t know how we can defend ourselves against this type of technology,” he continued, before adding: “[N]either China or Russia.

Major U.S. military contractors have already started working with the Pentagon on similar projects, but the U.S. currently lacks the capability to launch a missile as described by General Milley and the Financial Time.

Raytheon, one of the largest US defense contractors, is one such company; the CEO of the company told the South China Morning Post in an interview published early Thursday morning, that the United States remains “years behind” on China’s alleged development of hypersonic weapons which it said were “the most destabilizing threat to the homeland.”

The Independent Gt

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