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VC of Joint Chiefs: Not one, not two, but “hundreds” of Chinese hypersonic tests!

If I did not have confirmation of my skepticism about the claims by the military and anonymous sources that China this summer completed a successful hypersonic test flight, I have it now.

Today the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, made a speech demanding that the military stop building expensive gold-plated satellites and emulate SpaceX’s methods of frequent testing and quick development.

Hyten has been very correctly pushing for this change in strategy for years. However, in his remarks he said this:

China, he said, has performed “hundreds” of tests of hypersonic weapons in the last five years, compared to nine the United States has performed.

…[He also] implied this morning, but did not state categorically, that China has built and tested what appears to be a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS).

FOBS technology is not new, but Hyten described it “as highly destabilizing.” And China’s reported use of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) as the pointy end of the stick would be a twist. The Soviets deployed a FOBS — which combines a low-flying missile and nuclear warhead that reaches Low Earth Orbit, but does not remain in space for a full turn about the Earth — from 1969 to 1983. China began an effort in the early 1970s, but suffered test failures with its launcher, and gave up. [emphasis mine]

As I say, Hyten’s goals — fast testing, fast development, and not fearing failure — are all correct and laudable. But to suddenly turn a questionable story about a possible single successful Chinese hypersonic test flight, based entirely on anonymous sources, into “hundreds” of flights, strongly confirms to me that the original story was planted by the military to create fear in Congress and the public so that both would eagerly give the military more money.

The result will be that Hyten won’t get what he really wants. His use of exaggeration and possible disinformation will only cause Congress to balloon the military’s budget for new programs, which will then be used to feed the Pentagon’s insatiable appetite for endless and slow-moving test programs that only function as jobs programs, the very thing Hyten rails against.

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  • Call Me Ishmael

    In Hyten’s (sort-of) defense, “tests” are not necessarily “flights”, and certainly don’t have to be full-up launches.

  • John

    I don’t think it’s any kind of secret that the Chinese have been conducting various hypersonic tests in recent years. Whether they tested the fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) successfully or not, is another matter. Some reports are saying they did that twice.

    They can land on Mars, operate on the far side of the moon, produce the most sophisticated electronics an American will ever own, operate a space station, launch ~40 times a year, build a lot of ships, etc. etc. It’s not out of the question they can build a FOBS. Sure, much of their technology is stolen, but what does it matter.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Another fly by posting, ( sorry I’ve not been following up on my comments, but life is bloody busy right now…)
    I doubt if the comment, quote “China, he said, has performed “hundreds” of tests of hypersonic weapons in the last five years” is anywhere near correct, but ram-jet / scram-jet tech works, it’s just uncontrollable, but I’m pretty sure it’s a technology that could be mastered with enough dollars or yen thrown at it.
    My opinion of China has changed over the last few years…. 10 years ago they became an economic power, and I believed they had zero expansionist goals, they have enough land and treasure for any nation.
    But their aggression regarding the south China sea, and especially over Taiwan make me worried.
    If they develop the tech to launch an undetected, undefendable nuclear strike against the west, they basically have us all by the testicels.
    Given China’s economic dependence on western customers, and the west’s dependence on cheap Chinese manufacturers, this is a hard situation to parse out, but however it pans out, China having a massive strategic nuclear advantage over the west cannot end well.
    This hypersonic missile tech is real, a “clear and potentially present danger”, and I guess the only option is to keep up in the game. ( Much as it pains me to say!”

    It could make me weep that my kids might grow up under the threat of a nuclear war. It was not much fun for any of us that grew up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s…. 50 years later, we are still not living on the moon or Mars, but the threat of MAD seems to be rearing it’s thermonuclear head once again.

  • Gene Shipp

    China is potemkin. Look at their “cities” that are vacant because they fall apart because they’re built so poorly. A skip around the world missile is pointless. Especially because it didn’t hit its target. So what, it’s a useless capability. Have a listen to Bill Whittle’s podcast The Perception Battlefield. I pasted the link to it below.

  • Jeff Wright

    Hyten is a Billy Mitchell…and libertarians want to starve Space Force same as liberals do if not worse. The Spitfire was doubtless on the chopping block of someone in the House of Commons-maybe one more reason they were called the few.

    But now the bloat IS fighter jocks-who always starved space advocates. Time to flip the script and abolish the USAF as the ARMY air corps. End all overseas basing. That’s the bloat too. Space Force gets the USAF level budget…and slash everything else. Carriers mothballed.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Max…. I pride myself on taking in News sources from as many perspectives as I can fit in…. But what even was that link…. ???? I was overwhelmed with …. Well, I can’t say here…. But I would say it’s a hardly trustworthy news source!

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Gene Shipp, I actually took a look at the video you linked to ( I almost never bother with videos… I prefer text, so consider yourself honoured… ;-) )

    Your guy there has a point regarding construction, but China’s success in space “Stuff” in the last few years makes me think they have 2 tears…

    One for construction, civil engineering etc… But a whole other one for the high tech. Especially military high tech. They are kicking out of the park on space ( and more importantly, speed to space!) Right now.

    I stand by what I said months ago.

    “Underestimate China at your peril”

  • Lee Stevenson

    One more comment after watching the last couple of minutes of the video…


  • Gary H

    As long as ballistic submarines remain undetected and anti-missile technology is imperfect, the hypersonic missile’s first strike threat is somewhat mitigated, but in time submarines might be detected with greater frequency/certainty and directed energy weapons will improve China’s defensive capabilities.

    The Trump administration started a truck mounted mini-nuclear power plants for military bases study program. Nuclear power will be needed in order to power our energy directed weapons. Windmills, solar cells and wishful thinking won’t get the job done.

  • wayne

    “First days after the war”
    The Man In the High Castle Season 4 Episode 5

  • pzatchok

    I am not worried about the hyper-sonic missile problem.

    There is little strategic or tactical advantage.
    Nuclear war is still a no win game.

    There are better things China could be spending its war cash on Q-Ships for one. How would you get 500,000 Chinese solders into California without anyone noticing until its to late?
    Them move 1 million more into California the next day?

  • pzatchok

    China’s real plan is to not militarily invade America but philosophically change America into China

    How close are they now? How close will they be in 10 years?

    Our ignorant Children will just invite them in.

  • Max McByte


    pzatchok IS 100% CORRECT

    “How would you get 500,000 Chinese soldiers into California without anyone noticing until it’s to late?”
    “China’s real plan is to not militarily invade America but philosophically change America into China”



  • Jeff

    pzatchok wrote: “Our ignorant Children will just invite them in.”

    At a recently family gathering several folks were lamenting the state of our country. My aunt said, “China is trying to take over the country.” I pointed to the cell phone in her hand and to all (most of) the others in the room, busy with whatever was on their screens and said, “They already have…”

  • Jeff Wright

    They understand industry provides wealth and security. Now I am going to make a lot of you mad in suggesting that, as the Apostle Paul was the best apostle despite not originally one of the 12 Disciples…the last and best of the Founding Fathers was FDR.

    He knew the government of the days of parchment, pantaloons and powdered wigged food were over…and it is said that half the concrete poured in this Nation was done on that one man’s watch. China looked towards the successful Amerinds who—through gambling and coal ironically enough—used the white man’s greed against himself. Only Madison really had an inkling of what this country could be…but others….Anti-Federalists…never really got it.

    Ayn Rand’s BS hurt Americans more than Swallwell’s Fang Fang.

    Many of you worship Reagan—who gave us blanket amnesty. Rand and others were his heroes…and that turned us into a weakened service economy that Covid shut down further. But we still worship at the alter of Dale Carnegie, and fast talking salesmen.

    The Soviets…to their credits—believed in straight up fights. Their military genius was Zhukov.

    In China, they follow Sun Tzu.

    America beat Russia…but China had America beat America.

    And the biggest turncoats were the Reaganites who sang Lee Greenwood the loudest.

    “There be two manner of nations which my heart abhorreth, and the third is no nation:”

    Ecclesiastes 50::25

  • Max

    pzatchok Said;
    “There are better things China could be spending its war cash on Q-Ships for one. How would you get 500,000 Chinese solders into California without anyone noticing until its to late?
    Them move 1 million more into California the next day?”

    There is 2 1/2 million Chinese students already in the United States universities. Many of them current and former PLO military.
    (This website claims 8 million)

    There are other groups that do not wish to assimilate, or are citizens of more than one country.

    “Based on analysis of newly released Census Bureau data for 2018, the Center for Immigration Studies finds that 67.3 million residents in the United States now speak a language other than English at home, a number equal to the entire population of France”

    The fifth column is already here… And the Biden administration is very open about their intent to fundamentally change America into a country we will no longer recognize, we will own nothing and we will like it and be happy.

    Lee Stevenson Said;
    “what even was that link…. ???? I was overwhelmed with …. Well, I can’t say here…. But I would say it’s a hardly trustworthy news source!”

    You are right, not a trustworthy news source.

    “Humorous, comedy, satire” on the news seldom is… The cube is similar to the Babylon bee.

    Didn’t it become obvious at the bottom of the article with the parody of China and Russia making fun of america’s military and it’s number one priority of Rachel being the first woman/man non-military to receive rank?
    Nevertheless, it actually happened. Another head shaker…

  • Gary

    A perspective on this issue from John Batchelor guest Gregory Copley.

  • Gary: Did you notice that every solution Copley pushed was one that was going to cost the U.S. a lot of money? Did you notice how he admitted there was deception involved in China’s so-called missile silo construction?

    And did you notice also how he accepts 100% the story about the Chinese hypersonic test, even though even to this day I have seen no concrete evidence that it actually happened?

    The military’s lobbying for bucks goes on. Americans have to stop accepting what these people say, without question. They must be questioned repeatedly, and hard.

  • Gary


    Good points. I will say that, at least Copley points in the direction of spending money on programs that actual deter China, rather than playing into the deception. Now, that relies on accepting Copley’s judgement, which I’d probably be more inclined to do than to accept the judgement of our current military establishment.

    The other thing which you have done, which I’ve not seen anyone else attempt, is to find some plausible launches from China which could have been used to accomplish the test.

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