A Chinese H-6N Bomber coming into land was recently filmed by aviation spotter, nothing exciting in itself but it was what was underneath that has sparked interest, and fear in the western world.
The images show a large missile attached to the underside of the aircraft which has the tell-tale nose shape of a Hypersonic Missile, and one big enough to carry a nuclear warhead.
The aircraft was landing at Neixiang Ma’ao air base when the video was taken and posted online by twitter user OdeoSoldier, although it is unclear if they actually took the footage or just posted it.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/jYNIrtiVKk">pic.twitter.com/jYNIrtiVKk</a></p>— OedoSoldier (@OedoSoldier) <a href="https://twitter.com/OedoSoldier/status/1317316788594438144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The missile appears to bear a strong resemblance to the ground-launched DF-17 Hypersonic missile which carries conventional warheads.
A hypersonic missile is feared because of its ability to travel in excess of Mach 5 and up to Mach 10, or around 4,000-8000mph meaning a missile (if it had the range) making it very hard to defend against and giving very little warning.
A missile of this kind could be used to target an Aircraft Carrier group for example and launched by air, could offer just minutes in warning time.
The Chinese Xian H-6N Bomber which is seen carrying the missile is a Chinese made version of the Tupolev Tu16 Bomber which has a range of just over 3,000 miles.
The 6N makes it an air-launched ballistic missile variant.
Who else has Hypersonic Missiles?
Hypersonic Missiles themselves are not new, China already has ground launch hypersonic missiles which it displayed in 2017 but who else has them?
No country has officialy confirmed it has a Hypersonic missile but both the USA and Russia are known to be developing them.
The US has said that it plans to equip its entire navel fleet with Hypersonic Missiles but has not discussed air-launched variants.