Last week, news broke that Chinese hackers had successfully infiltrated an unnamed U.S. Defense contractor, making off with over 600 gigabytes of data relating to America’s undersea warfare efforts. The compromised data included signals and sensor data, information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library — but perhaps the most damaging revelation to surface as a result of the hack were plans relating to a new submarine launched anti-ship missile known as “Sea Dragon.”

For months now, the United States Navy has been working tirelessly to find ways to offset the strategic advantage presented by China’s hypersonic anti-ship missile platforms like the massive DF-21D, but little attention has been paid to America’s offensive response. The Sea Dragon, while not hypersonic, does shed some light into America’s own anti-ship endeavors, and while little information is available regarding the platform itself, what little we know is actually rather illuminating when given the benefit of a little extrapolation.

Two primary bits of information we know about the Sea Dragon is that the Navy and the unidentified contractor were working to expedite development of this new platform by utilizing already-developed technologies, and second, that the missile itself is said to be able to achieve supersonic speeds (faster than Mach 1). The former suggests that this new platform must be a variation or combination of complimentary existing platforms, and the latter tells us that it can’t be based on any of the four currently employed anti-ship missiles in the U.S. Navy’s arsenal.

The Navy’s compliments of Tomahawk cruise missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles, and new Naval Strike Missiles are all notable sub-sonic platforms. They rely on maneuverability, rather than speed to close with targets and circumvent missile defense systems. Because the Navy’s Sea Dragon program aims specifically to integrate “an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform,” each of those missiles can be ruled out as the basis for the new weapon. So, if the new missile is supposed to sink enemy ships and travel at supersonic speeds, already exists in some form in the U.S. inventory, can travel at supersonic speeds and is not based on a standing anti-ship platform — it must be a variation on a platform intended for other targets, like the ship-launched air defense missile, the SM-6.