2010 Chinese anti-ballistic missile test
The People's Republic of China carried out a land-based high-altitude anti-ballistic missile test on 11 January 2010. This reportedly made China the second country[dubious ] in the world after the United States of America to successfully destroy an incoming missile beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
The test came just after an American official announced in Taipei that The Pentagon had just approved the sale of the MIM-104 Patriot missile system to Taiwan. In fact, the sale was part of a deal passed by the United States Congress more than a year before. Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense had voiced its strong opposition to these sales. Observers and analysts think the test was a response to the deal, and showed Beijing's stance on the issue.
However, some others believe this test was routine, because an article appeared in the PLA Daily as early as on November 12, 2009 claiming that a new type of Chinese missile provided anti-ballistic missile capability and would go to further tests. Recently, the statements from Zhu Zhuhua (朱祝华), a director of the People's Liberation Army Air Force Equipment Research Institute (解放军空军装备研究院) supported the claim. Based on this analysis, the test was coincidental to Taiwan's weapon deal.
The flight of Intercontinental ballistic missiles has three stages in air, the boost phase (the 1st phase), the mid-course phase (the 2nd phase), and the final reentry phase (also known as terminal phase). The Chinese test targeted on the mid-course phase when the target was out of the atmosphere. The test was said to be successful. The full name of the test is called the Test of the Land-based Mid-course Phase Anti-ballistic Missile Interception Technology (simplified Chinese: 陆基中段反导拦截技术试验). However, the exact launch sites and types of these two missiles are not clarified in Chinese news.
According to The Pentagon, Beijing did not inform the test in advance. And the statement "We detected two geographically separated missile launch events with an exo-atmospheric collision also being observed by space-based sensors", by The Pentagon spokeswoman Major Maureen Schumann, also proves the profile and results of the test.
Some related concepts:
- Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV)
- Anti-ballistic missile
- Anti-satellite weapon (ASAT)
- National Missile Defense (NMD)
- Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, an agency of the United States Department of Defense
- Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
Some recent tests:
- "我国试验陆基反导 此前仅美国进行过相关试验" (in (Chinese)). SINA News. 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- "China Said to Close Gap With U.S. Missile Defense in Monday Test" (php) (in (English)). NTI. Jan 14, 2010. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved Jan 14, 2010.
- "China did not notify the US before anti-missile test: Pentagon" (in (English)). AFP. Jan 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved Jan 14, 2010.
- "中国测试拦截导弹美国索取数据 (China conducted anti-missile test, US asks for data)" (in (Chinese)). BBC. 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- SINA News 11 January 2010 - 我国进行陆基反导拦截技术试验 (China tested land-based anti-ballistic missile technology) (Chinese)
- Yahoo! News - China says missile defense system test successful (English)