Hypersonic Hype: Just How Big of a Deal Is China’s DF-17 Missile?

Hypersonic Hype: Just How Big of a Deal Is China’s DF-17 Missile?
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Is China's DF-17 hypersonic missile a serious threat to the United States?

Of all the thousands of tons of military hardware that passed along Beijing's Changan Avenue on Tuesday, one of the most scrutinized items was the Dong Feng 17 (DF-17) hypersonic boost-glide missile. A total of 18 models were paraded on their launchers, representing two brand new units.

The DF-17 is the weapon that the U.S. intelligence community estimated in 2017 to become the first of its kind to see operational deployment. The People's Liberation Army Rocket Force will probably begin operating it next year.

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