A now-deleted video clip published by China's military on Wedensday containe what appears to be the launch of a new type of supersonic cruise missile, according to SCMP.
The original footage which ran just over one minute in length was released on Chinese social media by the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force in connection with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China next Tuesday.
Within the film is a two-second clip featuring an unusual missile being fired from a mobile launcher. In the new version, the scene is replaced with footage of two different missile launches in a desert environment, according to the report.
In the clip the missile appears to have slim dorsal fins, foldable tail fins and additional propellant, all of which, according to one expert who asked not to be identified, suggests it is designed to fly long distances and faster than the speed of sound.
“The new missile would probably have a range of more than 1,000km [680 miles],” the person said. -SCMP
Sound and seizure warning:
The PLA currently possesses the Changjian-10 land-attack subsonic missile which has an operation range of approximately 932 miles.
Ballistic and cruise missiles differ in a number of ways but the latter tend to fly at lower altitudes and at slower speeds, making them more vulnerable to defence systems.
However, the Rocket Force has made significant progress in the development of glider vehicles for its ballistic missiles, like the Dongfeng-17 (DF-17), which is now capable of gliding in outer atmosphere at upwards of five times the speed of sound, making it more able to evade missile defence systems. -SCMP
"Now that the DF-17’s glider technology is becoming more mature it could be used elsewhere. Other missiles, like this cruise missile [in the video clip], could also adopt similar vehicles to carry the warhead," according to SCMP's source.
The missile seen in the original footage also appeared to have several unidentified items - which may be jamming and anti-jamming devices.
"These would enhance the missile’s ability to avoid electronic interference or guided interception by enemy missile defence systems, and therefore increase its chances of penetration," he said.