China Tests Anti-Satellite Missile -
The test of a Dong Neng-3 exoatmospheric vehicle was carried out Oct. 30 from China’s Korla Missile Test Complex in western China, said two defense officials familiar with reports of the test.
A test flight of a new missile capable of knocking out U.S. satellites as part of Beijing’s growing space warfare arsenal.
A Chinese press report also provided details of what was said to be a missile defense interceptor flight test carried out Nov. 1. Photos of the missile’s contrails were posted online.
China’s claims that this was not an ASAT [anti-satellite] test; let me assure you the United States has high confidence in its assessment, that the event was indeed an ASAT test,” Rose said.
“The continued development and testing of destructive ASAT systems is both destabilizing and threatens the long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment,” he added.
China’s Guancha.com reported Nov. 1 that the unusual contrails near the city of Korla, in Xinjiang province, that appeared to be signs of a spacecraft launch or possibly “a midcourse anti-missile test.”
“In recent years, similar clouds have appeared over the skies of Xinjiang many times,” the report said. “A few of them have been linked to land-based midcourse anti-missile interception tests.”
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao then reported Nov. 4 that the test appear to be a “final-phase missile interception test had been conducted in the upper atmosphere.”
“The capability to intercept was one of the capabilities of the PRC Hongqi-19 missile, and may be employed to intercept high supersonic gliding targets on the offensive,” Ming Pao stated.
China’s most disruptive ASAT test occurred in January 2007 when a direct ascent missile destroyed a Chinese weather satellite, creating tens of thousands of debris pieces that pose a continuing danger to both satellites and manned spacecraft, like the International Space Station.