China has brought to market a hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missile, said to be the first of its kind on the international market for buyers seeking a "reliable and affordable deterrence against threats from the sea," according to China.org.
"The system is intended for rapid and precision strikes against medium-size ships, naval task forces, and offshore facilities," said a representative from China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) in November.
According to CASIC, the CM-401 is fitted with a terminal radar guidance unit featuring a nose-mounted gimballed antenna. Once launched, the missile flies along a ballistic trajectory, reaching a near-space altitude. The weapon is stated to have an average speed of Mach 4 and a peak of Mach 6, although it is not clear at what altitudes these speeds are reached. -Janes.com
The missile flies between 20 and 100 kilometers above earth (12 - 62 miles) and maneuvers at hypersonic speeds.
Once fired, the missile ascends to a predetermined altitude until its target is identified, before entering an "ultrafast terminal dive" towards the target at hypersonic speeds according to the CASIC.
...the missile flies at an average speed of 1,360 meters per second - 4,900 kilometers per hour - or four times the speed of sound, during most parts of the flight, and reaches a maximum velocity of more than 2,000 m/s, six times the speed of sound as it approaches the target. It can carry a 290-kilogram warhead and has a maximum strike range of 290 km and a hit rate of 90 percent, meaning there will be nine effective hits on target out of 10 shots. -China.org
The missile - unveiled at the the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province - can be mounted to a variety of platforms, such as ships or land-based launch vehicles according to the company.
We wonder how China's new hypersonic missile competes with Putin's new toys?