China demonstrated the new DF-17 for the first time during the 70th National Day military parade. It is a ballistic missile that is said to have high defensive penetration and is hyper-sonic. Chinese military experts say it is almost impossible to be intercepted by the enemy.
The DF-17 conventional ballistic missile was on display at an event in Tiananmen Square. It is a short to mid range ballistic missile recently developed and deployed.
Chinese missile expert and quantum defense scientist Yang Chengjun told the Global Times that as all regions including the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and Northeast Asia will play a vital role in maintaining China’s territorial integrity, noting that the US army has deployed the THAAD air defense system in South Korea, deployed SM-3 interceptors in Japan, which is a great security threat to China, as well as Russia.
The British media “Daily Mail” reported in June that the DF-17 missile is featured with hypersonic gliding vehicle at attacking speed of 10 times of sound speed. This allows warhead to penetrate through any missile defense system available today.
Military observers point out that extremely high speeds leave the enemy almost no time to respond.
Yang said that unlike traditional ballistic missiles, the DF-17 can change its trajectory during flight to minimize the chance of being intercepted by any defense system.
If hostile air defense systems (such as THAAD, SM-3, and Patriots) have a chance to capture the launch of DF-17 and prepare for its early arrival, it may be intercepted, but this rarely happens since a launch in actual combat will be done secretly, Yang said.
Other countries have also been developing hyper-sonic weapons, such as the AGM-183A in the United States and the Avangard missile in Russia.