ISLAMABAD: New missiles which can travel at a hypersonic speed developed by US, Russia and China could trigger a war, experts have warned.
Unlike the traditional ballistic missiles, a hypersonic missile can travel at Mach 5 or higher and also has the ability to manoeuvre.
Researchers at the RAND Corporation, a think tank, said the new weapons can pose a grave threat to the world if they fall into the hands of 'rogue' nations.
The weapons are designed to evade missile defence systems and nations could take counter-measures at the slightest provocation, sparking a war, they said.
“Hypersonic missile proliferation would increase the chances of strategic war. It would give nations an incentive to become trigger-happy,” the Independent quoted Richard Speier, lead author of a study on the topic, as saying.
The study said the world has less than 10 years to get a non-proliferation regime in place before such a war becomes inevitable.
The countries developing the weapons should tightly guard the technology, the report said on Saturday, citing the researchers.
They also said exports of dual-use components like scramjet engines, which can push a craft to hypersonic speed, should be controlled.