"Helping an Enemy": How did US companies contribute to China's development of hypersonic missiles?

"Helping an Enemy": How did US companies contribute to China's development of hypersonic missiles? At a time when Washington retreated in the hypersonic missile race in favor of China and Russia, and despite export controls that ban sales of US military technology to China, the Pentagon unknowingly contributed to the development and financing of Beijing's hypersonic missiles.  A Washington Post investigation revealed Monday that leading research groups developing China's hypersonic and regular missile program are buying many specialized technology products, such as advanced software, produced by Pentagon-funded US companies, through private distributors or research bodies.  The American newspaper said that it had "identified more than 300 sales since 2019 of US-origin technology to dozens of entities participating in China's hypersonic or missile programs," and found products for nearly 50 American companies that were sold through intermediaries during that period.  By analyzing contracts and speaking to Chinese scientists working in military labs and universities, the Washington Post found that the Chinese military has benefited from what it described as "virtually unfettered access to American technology with applications in missile design and testing," including products developed after Grants worth millions of dollars from the Pentagon.  The Pentagon helps China!  To build a hypersonic rocket, scientists need to solve advanced physics problems related to the rocket's flight. Wind tunnel tests and live launches such as the highly publicized one China conducted in 2021 are costly.  Specifically, Chinese scientists told the Washington Post that the use of US commercial software, the product of years and sometimes decades of research and development (as well as multi-million dollar grants sponsored by the Pentagon), reduces the time and resources needed for such tests. They noted that American products also have applications in the commercial space, as well as in other areas in which China and the United States compete, including aircraft engine design.  Although US export controls prohibit any sales of US products to China, and their resale within China, if there is knowledge that they will be used in the development of a missile or if they are destined for a prohibited entity, some technology, which also has applications in civilian space research It finds its way to Chinese military institutions and US-banned entities through Chinese intermediary companies, the US newspaper found.  The technology being procured includes various forms of computer-aided engineering software, such as aerodynamic software, which can be used to simulate and analyze the harsh physical conditions experienced by airborne vehicles. This allows scientists to virtually test designs without relying solely on more expensive wind tunnel tests and live exercises. Other sales also include devices such as interferometers, which scientists can use to capture high-resolution data in wind tunnel tests.  Hypersonic weapons  A missile is called hypersonic if its speed exceeds the speed of sound and reaches speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 20. Mach is the speed of sound, which reaches about 1235 kilometers per hour. While ICBMs far exceed that threshold, they are moving along a predictable trajectory, making their interception possible.  Ballistic missiles fly at a high altitude in space in an arc-shaped trajectory to reach their target, while hypersonic missiles launch on a low trajectory and are able to reach their target faster. Most importantly, the hypersonic missile can be controlled, making it more difficult to track and intercept.  Russia and China are among the few countries in the world that possess hypersonic missiles capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads only, and their hypersonic missiles can carry out maneuvers while in flight in a way that allows them to avoid anti-missiles more.  Sino-Russian supremacy meets US neglect  Earlier this year, the US, UK and Australia announced that they would work together to develop hypersonic missiles. The April announcement came amid growing concerns about China's escalating militarism in the Pacific, as well as Russia's striking Ukrainian targets last March with hypersonic "Kinzhal" missiles, thanks to which Russia officially became the first country in the world to include this type of weapon in its stockpile. military in 2018.  Besides Russia, which tested some of its hypersonic missiles in the Ukraine War, China in recent years has made rapid progress in missile technology, particularly hypersonic, as part of a broader national campaign to build a "world-class army" by 2049, the centenary of the Republic of China. popular.  Amid growing American concerns about Russia and China achieving more success in developing their hypersonic weapons, the United States announced, in mid-July, the success of the second test of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile, becoming the first missile of this type it possesses. country. While this missile was designed by the American Aerospace Industries "Lockheed Martin", and stands for "ARRW", which is an acronym for "Air-launched Rapid Deterrence Weapon".  In response to concerns in the Indo-Pacific region, the US Department of Defense announced that it will spend $1.3 billion to develop an advanced satellite system capable of better detecting and tracking hypersonic missiles, to be in orbit by 2025.

At a time when Washington retreated in the hypersonic missile race in favor of China and Russia, and despite export controls that ban sales of US military technology to China, the Pentagon unknowingly contributed to the development and financing of Beijing's hypersonic missiles.

A Washington Post investigation revealed Monday that leading research groups developing China's hypersonic and regular missile program are buying many specialized technology products, such as advanced software, produced by Pentagon-funded US companies, through private distributors or research bodies.

The American newspaper said that it had "identified more than 300 sales since 2019 of US-origin technology to dozens of entities participating in China's hypersonic or missile programs," and found products for nearly 50 American companies that were sold through intermediaries during that period.

By analyzing contracts and speaking to Chinese scientists working in military labs and universities, the Washington Post found that the Chinese military has benefited from what it described as "virtually unfettered access to American technology with applications in missile design and testing," including products developed after Grants worth millions of dollars from the Pentagon.

The Pentagon helps China!

To build a hypersonic rocket, scientists need to solve advanced physics problems related to the rocket's flight. Wind tunnel tests and live launches such as the highly publicized one China conducted in 2021 are costly.

Specifically, Chinese scientists told the Washington Post that the use of US commercial software, the product of years and sometimes decades of research and development (as well as multi-million dollar grants sponsored by the Pentagon), reduces the time and resources needed for such tests. They noted that American products also have applications in the commercial space, as well as in other areas in which China and the United States compete, including aircraft engine design.

Although US export controls prohibit any sales of US products to China, and their resale within China, if there is knowledge that they will be used in the development of a missile or if they are destined for a prohibited entity, some technology, which also has applications in civilian space research It finds its way to Chinese military institutions and US-banned entities through Chinese intermediary companies, the US newspaper found.

The technology being procured includes various forms of computer-aided engineering software, such as aerodynamic software, which can be used to simulate and analyze the harsh physical conditions experienced by airborne vehicles. This allows scientists to virtually test designs without relying solely on more expensive wind tunnel tests and live exercises. Other sales also include devices such as interferometers, which scientists can use to capture high-resolution data in wind tunnel tests.

Hypersonic weapons

A missile is called hypersonic if its speed exceeds the speed of sound and reaches speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 20. Mach is the speed of sound, which reaches about 1235 kilometers per hour. While ICBMs far exceed that threshold, they are moving along a predictable trajectory, making their interception possible.

Ballistic missiles fly at a high altitude in space in an arc-shaped trajectory to reach their target, while hypersonic missiles launch on a low trajectory and are able to reach their target faster. Most importantly, the hypersonic missile can be controlled, making it more difficult to track and intercept.

Russia and China are among the few countries in the world that possess hypersonic missiles capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads only, and their hypersonic missiles can carry out maneuvers while in flight in a way that allows them to avoid anti-missiles more.

Sino-Russian supremacy meets US neglect

Earlier this year, the US, UK and Australia announced that they would work together to develop hypersonic missiles. The April announcement came amid growing concerns about China's escalating militarism in the Pacific, as well as Russia's striking Ukrainian targets last March with hypersonic "Kinzhal" missiles, thanks to which Russia officially became the first country in the world to include this type of weapon in its stockpile. military in 2018.

Besides Russia, which tested some of its hypersonic missiles in the Ukraine War, China in recent years has made rapid progress in missile technology, particularly hypersonic, as part of a broader national campaign to build a "world-class army" by 2049, the centenary of the Republic of China. popular.

Amid growing American concerns about Russia and China achieving more success in developing their hypersonic weapons, the United States announced, in mid-July, the success of the second test of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile, becoming the first missile of this type it possesses. country. While this missile was designed by the American Aerospace Industries "Lockheed Martin", and stands for "ARRW", which is an acronym for "Air-launched Rapid Deterrence Weapon".

In response to concerns in the Indo-Pacific region, the US Department of Defense announced that it will spend $1.3 billion to develop an advanced satellite system capable of better detecting and tracking hypersonic missiles, to be in orbit by 2025.
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