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China Carries Out Successful Land-Based Mid-Course Antiballistic Missile Test

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China Carries Out Successful Land-Based Mid-Course Antiballistic Missile Test

Screenshot from a video allegedly showing the interception. Click to see full-size image

On February 4th, China successfully conducted a land-based, mid-course antiballistic missile (ABM) technical test.

The Chinese state outlet Global Times reported that experts said showed China’s mastery of the technology as the country’s antiballistic missile system gradually matures and becomes more reliable.

China conducted the test within its border, and the test reached the desired objective, the country’s Ministry of National Defense announced in a statement.

It was the fifth land-based ABM technical test China has publicly announced and the fourth land-based, mid-course ABM technical test publicly known. Known ABM tests were carried out by China previously in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2018, according to media reports and official statements.

The 2018 test was also described as being a demonstration of midcourse ballistic missile intercept capabilities. So far, China has not yet released any specific details about work on such an interceptor, including any official designation.

China Carries Out Successful Land-Based Mid-Course Antiballistic Missile Test

A graphic on midcourse missile defense that the People’s Daily newspaper included in a story about an anti-ballistic missile defense test in 2018. Click to see full-size image

The country is “developing kinetic-kill vehicle technology to field a midcourse interceptor, which will form the upper layer of a multi-tiered missile defense,” according to the most recent annual public report from the Pentagon on Chinese military capabilities, which it released last September.

Mid-course is the most vital phase in the interception of a ballistic missile, and a mid-course ABM means to intercept the missile while it is in its free flight phase outside of the atmosphere, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator told the Global Times.

it’s not hard to see how China would be interested in both midcourse ballistic missile defenses and improved anti-satellite capabilities.

The Chinese government faces potential threats from India’s ballistic missile arsenal, as well as potential new ballistic missile and ballistic missile-based hypersonic weapon developments in South Korea and Japan.

The United States is in the process of modernizing its strategic ballistic missile systems, and its continuing its pressure campaign from all directions.

Space is also an area where there are growing concerns of potential conflict. The U.S. military, in particular, has come to heavily rely on space-based systems for a wide variety of functions, including early warning, intelligence gathering, weapon guidance and basic navigation, and communications and data-sharing.

Naturally, the US lives in a state of constant concern that its adversaries are developing space-based weapons that would destroy its infrastructure, and are attempting to militarize space even more heavily.

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