China develops advanced hypersonic missile that can hit moving car: report

China is reportedly working on a heat-seeking hypersonic missile that can hit a moving car at five times the speed of sound. The research team is said to have made “significant progress” in resolving the location of a moving target at extreme speeds.

The team is led by Yang Xiaogang of PLA Rocket Force Engineering University in Xian, the South China Morning Post reported.

Hitting a moving target would be a major achievement as the common belief is that the limited maneuverability of a hypersonic weapon at such high velocity would make hitting a moving target impossible.

A research paper published in China’s peer-reviewed journal Infrared and Laser Engineering said the missile’s heat-seeking technology would help the Chinese military eliminate high-value targets over long distances with unprecedented speed. Hypersonic weapons primarily target stationary objects on the ground, but the new technology is likely to help expand its application in regional warfare.

Although China has already demonstrated the ability to hit moving targets like an aircraft carrier, something like a moving car is a more complex target due to its small size and quick maneuverability. The presence of several similar vehicles nearby also makes a moving vehicle a difficult target.

Moreover, the infrared signature of such a small moving target “constitutes only a few pixels without detailed information such as shape, texture and structure”. This made identification and tracking extremely difficult, the newspaper added.

However, Yang’s team is said to have developed a new method of identification and tracking. While a traditional heat seeker analyzes images produced by infrared sensors frame by frame, the new hypersonic missile will do something more. It will also use data collected by motion sensors to adjust each pixel, so that most elements of the new image remain consistent with those of previous shots in terms of viewing angle, lighting or size. , the newspaper added.

Although this calibration technology is more complex, it results in a clear, stable background that makes the target stand out sharply, the team said.

Yang and his team were given a deadline of 2025 to find solutions to the seemingly intractable challenges of hypersonic technology.

Believing that hypersonic weapons will be a game-changer in the future, China has invested heavily to achieve a technological advantage. According to reports, the People’s Liberation Army’s hypersonic program employs around 3,000 scientists, 50% more than those working on traditional weapons.


hypersonic weapon

Photo: Jim Ross/NASA via Getty Images

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