The South China Morning Post reports that the Chinese army has a secret hypersonic ballistic missile in service. It is called Dongfeng-27 (DF-27). China has not officially announced this weapon.
What is known
The medium-range hypersonic ballistic missile has been in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army for more than four years, according to a source cited by the South China Morning Post. It is capable of hitting US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Despite China keeping the DF-27 under wraps, the US Department of Defense mentioned the missile in its 2021 annual report. The document stated that the missile launch range is up to 8,000 km, which is enough to hit targets in Hawaii, and the speed exceeds 10,000 km/h.
The missile also appears in intelligence documents that appeared in the media earlier this year. In particular, it is noted that on February 25, the People’s Liberation Army of China conducted a successful test of the DF-27. The documents suggest that the missile has a high chance of penetrating the US missile defense system.
The United States, in response to the development of the DF-27, decided to strengthen the missile defense system on Guam. Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems have been deployed on the island and work is underway to install THAAD systems.
In fiscal year 2024, the Pentagon will invest $1.5 billion to strengthen Guam’s air defenses. In addition to THAAD and Patriot, the island is protected by the Aegis system.