The country President Joe Biden once said couldn’t “eat our lunch” is readying a hypersonic drone that could take out our most advanced fighter planes, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
According to the report from the Hong Kong-based outlet, Chinese military researchers have found a way to safely land unmanned aircraft flying at or over five times the speed of sound, bringing them closer to potentially neutralizing American air superiority.
The news comes from a paper published last week in a Chinese peer-reviewed journal by researcher Dai Fei. She and her colleagues working with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force said they’d made improvements to hypersonic drones.
The Morning Post noted hypersonic technology “has progressed considerably, with China and Russia deploying various types of hypersonic missiles in recent years, and growing interest in applying the advances to drones.
“But bringing such aircraft back to ground safely has proved problematic.”
The Morning Post cited Chinese professor Wang Xing, who spoke about deploying hypersonic drones against America’s F-22 and F-35 stealth jets at a conference last year.
Both aircraft can fly at over twice the speed of sound. A hypersonic drone, Wang said, could catch up to the American jets in a matter of seconds.
Of course, a drone that can’t be landed is going to be a difficult sell. Most aircraft can land using software, and if things go wrong, a human crew — either manned or unmanned — can intervene.
However, there simply aren’t computers fast enough to calculate a descent for a plane traveling at hypersonic speeds — as in, over five times the speed of sound.
Dai’s team said hypersonic drones could instead choose one of three models for a possible approach using factors like air pressure and altitude.
But remember what Joe Biden said back on the campaign trail in 2019.
“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man. They can’t even figure out how to deal with the — the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the East — I mean in the West,” Biden said.
He added Beijing “can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not — they’re not competition for us.”
Perhaps not. Perhaps we’ve got the answer to hypersonic drones all figured out.
The president isn’t exactly a hawk on China, however.
While he talks tough, consider this: Biden’s first defense budget was deemed so lacking that some Democrats actually joined with Republicans last week to boost defense spending by about $24 billion, according to The New York Times.
The book of Isaiah talks of a time when “the wolf and the lamb shall graze together.” The closest thing you’ll see to that in this vale of tears is the donkey and the elephant spending more on defense together because the president didn’t want to.
If it were “infrastructure,” sure — Biden would be all about spending. In fact, he’s couched his infrastructure spree as a move to secure America’s supremacy over Beijing.
Yet the House Armed Services Committee actually has to cajole President Daddy Warbucks to spend bucks to counter the first serious military threat to the U.S. since the disintegration of the Soviet bloc.
China means war, and that war is most likely to happen in Taiwan. One of the Chinese Communist Party’s chief propaganda mills recently issued a direct threat to the small island nation, warning it of the “hopelessness of a US victory if it gets itself involved in a cross-Straits war.”
Perhaps this is nothing more than a feint by the Chinese Communist Party to convince the Biden administration it’s more dangerous than it actually is. Perhaps this will come to nothing.
Before we invest massive amounts of money in so-called “care infrastructure,” however, wouldn’t it be better to ensure our long-term air superiority over a country looking to develop an F-35 killer?
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