China’s DF-21D hypersonic anti-ship missile represents a significant enough potential threat to American Naval forces that its existence alone has forced the United States to employ multiple strategies aimed at extending the reach of carrier-based aircraft to keep its Nimitz and Ford class supercarriers outside of the missile’s operational range. The missile, which is capable of traveling at speeds in excess of Mach 5, is simply too fast to be intercepted by America’s existing ship-based missile defense apparatus, and as such, it has created an operational bubble around Chinese shores that American carriers would avoid penetrating if ever a conflict were to break out.

Now, China has announced testing of another hypersonic missile platform that could further exacerbate America’s troubles, as the U.S. Air Force reports that America’s own hypersonic efforts are still at least two years away from operational testing.

China’s new Xingkong-2, which translates loosely to Starry Sky-2, has been described as a hypersonic “waverider” vehicle that is capable of sustaining speeds as high as Mach 6. In a test of the platform last Friday, the vehicle was launched from a multi-staged solid fuel rocket before separating and relying on onboard propulsion systems. The Starry Sky-2 then executed a series of large angle maneuvers at altitudes as high as 18 miles while maintaining Mach 5.5 for 400 seconds and achieving a top speed of approximately Mach 6 before landing in a pre-designated target area. Mach 6, as a frame of reference, is around 4,600 miles per hour.

Of course, all of these figures were released by Chinese state-owned media outlets, which suggests that it may be best to take these numbers with a grain of salt — but China isn’t quite as keen on making entirely unsubstantiated claims about their developmental systems as Russia is, and their choice to make this announcement likely suggests that the People’s Liberation Army has already made a number of important breakthroughs in the development of this new platform.