Ahead of President Donald Trump’s historic visit to China, the People’s Liberation Army unveiled images of a new hypersonic strike aircraft being developed to more rapidly deliver nuclear warheads to targets.

An Oct. 8 report on state-run CCTV broadcast images of four different vehicles or missiles that U.S. intelligence agencies think are mock-ups of actual hypersonic weapons under development. They include one known as DF-ZF.

Intelligence officials noted that it was the first time China made public images of its hypersonic weapons program.

The Free Beacon first reported China’s initial flight test of the hypersonic glider in January 2014. Since then, six other flight tests have been carried out in what U.S. intelligence officials believe is a high-priority weapons program for the Chinese.

The U.S. Navy is developing a hypersonic glide vehicle as well, and it’s believed Russia also has a hypersonic weapon under development.

Analyst comment: Hypersonic delivery vehicles will forever change the nuclear weapon landscape, so the first nation that develops a hypersonic capability will have a major geopolitical and strategic advantage over its rivals. 

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