China has conducted the first flight tests of a new ballistic missile equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle, The Diplomat reports, citing a U.S. government source. Two tests, which came to light as part of recent intelligence assessments, have reportedly been carried out on a new missile dubbed DF-17. The DF-17, which is thought to be a medium-range system, made impact “within meters” of its intended target during its first flight test on Nov. 1, according to the report. This was “the first HGV test in the world using a system intended to be fielded operationally,” a source was quoted as saying in the report. Hypersonic glide vehicles are considered less susceptible to missile defense systems and would leave less time for an interception before the payload can hit its target. The U.S. and Russia are also working on hypersonic glider technology, but neither country has conducted flight tests on such a system for operational deployment.
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