China is working to downsize its hypersonic weapons program to the small arms level, as seen in recent tests of prototype hypersonic bullets on live targets.
Researchers from an army medical center in Chongqing recently fired 5-millimeter steel projectiles at Mach 11 speeds against sedated live pigs to understand the effects of hypersonic bullets on human targets, the South China Morning Post reported this week.
Citing a paper from the Acta Armamentarii peer-reviewed journal of the China Ordnance Society, the South China Morning Post report noted that hypersonic bullet shots to the thigh did not instantly kill the pigs but caused severe injuries throughout their bodies.
The news report said that the pigs sustained extensive internal damage, mainly bone fractures and bleeding in the intestine, lung, bladder and brain.
It said that the bullets penetrated the thigh at speeds between 1,000 to 3,000 meters per second, but at 4,000 meters per second, the rounds instead left a large wound cavity at the point of impact.
The report also said such hits resulted in crater-like wounds, liquefying both bullet and flesh.
4,000 m/s is 13,123 f/s. A typical 9mm handgun bullet is typically traveling about 1,100 f/s at the muzzle. A 5.56 NATO bullet fired from “weapon of war” which “explodes the heads of children”* is typically a little over 3,200 f/s at the muzzle.
I expect they will, or perhaps already have, done testing on human targets as well as pigs. The CCP is like that.
* Registered trademark of the Gifford’s Group.