As it’s been reported here a few times: Like Iran, like China… or vice versa. See the following previous entries for further information:
- Iran sends monkeys into space – so can place nukes anywhere on earth
- Iran Says It Will Send Monkey into Space in 2012
- Iran launches observation satellite: media
China’s military on Monday conducted the first test of a new ground-launched anti-satellite missile that was fired into space and disguised as a space-exploration rocket, according to U.S. officials.
The test was carried out early Monday from the Xichang Space Launch center and was identified by officials as the new Dong Ning-2 ASAT missile.
The ASAT test comes a week after China protested the release of the Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military buildup that mentioned Beijing’s development of anti-satellite weapons.
A U.S. official familiar with intelligence reports said the DN-2, as a high earth-orbit attack missile, is a significant advance for China’s program of developing asymmetric warfare capabilities for use against the United States. Others include cyber-warfare capabilities and anti-ship ballistic missiles.
China in 2007 conducted its first successful hit-to-kill ASAT test against a weather satellite in low-earth orbit. The impact left tens of thousands of pieces of debris in orbit that continue to threaten both manned and unmanned spacecraft.
Defense officials have said China’s ASAT weapons, including missile interceptors, lasers, and electronic jammers, are designed to disrupt satellite communications and navigation systems used extensively by the U.S. military in conducting joint warfare.
“The chances are good this is indeed an ASAT test as it was launched from the Xichang Space Launch Center, the same launch site used for the January 2007 successful SC-19 ASAT interception of a Chinese weather satellite,” said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. Xichang is located in southern Sichuan Province.
Fisher said Chinese Internet reports stated that the ASAT test of what U.S. official say was a DN-2 may have up to four stages and included one or two liquid-fueled upper stages to provide greater thrust as the missile closed in on a target.
“While there so far has been no report of a successful interception, even a very near miss would serve to validate this new [People’s Liberation Army] ASAT system,” Fisher said.
A validated DN-2 ASAT system would provide the Chinese military with the capability to “degrade or severely damage the U.S. Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system,” he said.
“This is not merely a threat against some American military satellites, but a threat to a what has become a vital part of the global electronic infrastructure, affecting global commerce and financial flows, to your personal finances that contribute to personal freedom.”
Fisher said China has been “preaching” that other states should disarm while Beijing secretly builds space weaponry at the same time it has denied being engaged in the space arms buildup.
Full article: China Conducts Test of New Anti-Satellite Missile (Washington Free Beacon)