An ultrafast missile interceptor, with the ability to destroy a projectile traveling at a speed 10 times faster than a bullet, has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). This weapon is extremely complex to design that only a few nations in the world are able to develop it. CASIC said that their product is able to knock down targets that are flying tens of kilometers above ground and traveling at a very fast speed.
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China's missile interceptor
The largest state-owned high-tech enterprise, under the administration of China's central government, has announced that its institution in Beijing has developed a "new-generation aerospace defense missile". The missile interceptor uses advanced space technologies and is capable of flying at a hypersonic speed of around 12,000 km/h according to experts.
CASIC's Second Academy in Beijing, China's leading developer of air defense systems, revealed that the weapon's designers have an average age of 32. They said that a prototype of the missile interceptor exploded during a flight test, which allowed them to overcome some of the weapon's problems as they research and develop its technology.
According to experts, advanced missile interceptors require sophisticated technologies, highly advanced manufacturing techniques, and top grade materials. And only after a significant number of completed tests would an anti-missile be successful.
Since 2010, 2013, and 2014 China has successfully completed three land-based, mid-course missile interception tests. But it is unclear whether the missile interceptor developed by CASIC's Second Academy is in the same league as the previous weapons tested.
Only a handful of countries is in possession of such a missile defense system, with Russia and the United States among them. A few days ago, the US set their new interceptor missile tests and is looking to deploy laser weapons that can destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). This caused alarm bells to ring for China and Russia as they see the American missile technology as a threat.
The Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, expressed his great concern over America's missile interceptor system.
"What is happening is a very serious and alarming process. In Alaska, and now in South Korea, elements of the anti-missile defense system are emerging. Should we just stand idly by and watch this? Of course not. We are thinking about how to respond to these challenges. This is a challenge for us".
The People's Daily, China's Communist Party media, said in their social media account that the success of the US anti-missile interceptor weapon had "opened a Pandora's box". A Chinese military expert, Zhou Chenming, said "This move was most directly targeting North Korea, but surely it also targeted Russia and China. An arms race has long begun … although the Chinese authorities hate to use the word arms race, saying their weapon development is for their own needs, not for competition".
"China worries about the impact the US missile defense system would have on China’s counter-strike capability. It’s China’s biggest concern. To deal with that China would develop new ground-based, sea-based or multi-head missiles", said Zhao Tong from the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.
And as China revealed their very own missile interceptor weapon with unconfirmed and unprecedented capabilities, the heightened tension between international defense sectors continues to swirl.