China has stepped up war preparations by deploying hypersonic missiles at several military bases across from Taiwan. The new type of missile gives China's People's Liberation Army significant leverage over Taiwan's anti-ballistic missile shield due to the glide vehicle's unpredictable ballistic trajectory.
For more hints that China is beefing up its forces with advanced weaponry. Sputnik News reports footage of a Chinese Xian H-6 twin-engine jet bomber that has emerged on various social media networks, allegedly showing the aircraft carrying a new hypersonic missile.
"Although the video is interesting regardless of the type of weapon of the bomber, since the new type of X-6 bomber debuted only last year, the analysis of the missile gave a startling conclusion: it is probably a hypersonic missile," Sputnik said.
Xian H-6 With Large Rocket Strapped To Belly
The video footage of an H-6N with a possible air-launched ballistic missile appears to be taken at this location just outside Neixiang Afld. This corroborates my theory that the 106th bde operates H-6N's and, per the CMPR suggesting nuclear-capable ALBMs, is a nuclear unit. https://t.co/aJtOw9PzmD pic.twitter.com/Y4KXN9MldV— Rod Lee (@roderick_s_lee) October 17, 2020
Sputnik notes, "while military analysts have considered numerous possibilities that hypersonic weapons could be in question, insiders from the People's Liberation Army claim that it is a hypersonic cruise missile, modified from the slower Changjian missile."
"Changjian- 20 has existed for more than a decade. "While other countries are racing to develop increasingly advanced defense systems and other hypersonic weapons, it was time for the Chinese Air Force to have an upgraded missile with an increased range of attack," a military source told Sputnik.
"Currently, the Chinese air force is limited by the capabilities of its bombers. Of the H-6 bombers, only the H-6N variant can be refueled with airborne fuel, resulting in an obvious weakness in range. That forced the air force to upgrade the missile in order to alleviate the range problem ", the sources continued.
Another observer points out that the air-launched missile "looks almost to feature a DF-17 like hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) on top of the rocket."
For the first time a H-6N was seen landing with an air-launched Anti-ship ballistic missile (ALBM/AShBM). This missile so far labelled as CH-AS-X-13 is often referred to the DF-21D but here it looks almost to feature an DF-17 like hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) on top the rocket pic.twitter.com/yOugsjkkhx— @Rupprecht_A (@RupprechtDeino) October 17, 2020
Defense News also agrees the missile "closely resembles the ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic missile:"
"Despite the video's low quality, a freeze-frame analysis by Defense News suggests the payload is a missile with a warhead and booster section that closely resembles the ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic missile, which is believed to use the booster section from a DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile combined with a DZ-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle as its warhead," said Defense News.
China's move to modernize its forces with hypersonic weapons implies that it's preparing for a fight.