In January of this year, North Korea also took steps to test its own hypersonic missile programme.
State media said the missile fired on Tuesday had successfully made a turn before hitting its target in the sea some 1,000km (621 miles) away.
It marks North Korea’s third reported test of a hypersonic missile, which can avoid detection for longer than ballistic missiles.
The presence of Leader Kim Jong-un at the launch suggests the technology has reached the final stages of being operationally ready.
Hypersonic glide missiles are dangerous for several reasons.
Unlike ballistic missiles, which travel in a largely predictable parabola, making them vulnerable to interception, hypersonic weapons can traverse laterally, close to the earth’s surface and hit a target in a much shorter flight time.
In addition, hypersonic weapons can also achieve more than five times the speed of sound – or about 6,200km/h (3,850mph).
All these features make them harder to track and intercept.
With the added notion of being able to carry nuclear warheads, the race for hypersonic weapons lives up to the very name of the equipment itself as major nations race at hypersonic speeds to be one step ahead in adding such technology to national arsenals.
Rolls-Royce has been contacted for further comment.
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