China and Russia are ramping up their advanced hypersonic glide vehicle programmes to counter a US plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea and its push towards a leaner but tougher military, mainland analysts say.

Beijing carried out the seventh successful test-flight of its DF-ZF glider last Friday, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday, citing Pentagon sources. The glider was mounted on a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai launch centre in Shanxi province, it said.

Three days earlier, Russia carried out the second test of its 3M22 Zircon glider, according to the Beacon.

“The hypersonic tests by China and Russia are aimed at causing a threat to the US, which plans to set up a missile defence system in South Korea,” said Professor He Qisong, a defence policy specialist at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

He was referring to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, which the US says is needed to protect its regional allies from North Korea. Beijing views the deployment as a threat to its military… see more

source: scmp