Why Did Hypersonic Weapon Release Payload?

A new report says that China’s apparent nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle ejected some kind of payload while barreling through the atmosphere, in its much-discussed test this past summer. 

If true, this would indicate an intriguing new capability for this already novel weapon, albeit one the function of which is not entirely clear. You can read our original reporting on this ostensible milestone test here.

The Financial Times yesterday reported that China’s puzzling weapon test on July 27 included the presumed hypersonic glide vehicle launching some kind of payload over the South China Sea “as it approached its target traveling at least five times the speed of sound.”

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