Monday, January 11, 2010

China successfully tests missile interception system



China's HQ-9 medium and long-range air-defense system

China announced its first test of a ground-based mid-range missile interception system Monday within Chinese territory, a move that military experts claim is a breakthrough in the air defense capabilities of the nation's military.

Details were sparse, but the official Xinhua News Agency said the test achieved the "expected objective" without elaborating further.

The missile is "defensive in nature" and did not "target any country," Xinhua said.

Yang Chengjun, a senior military strategist of missile studies, told the Global Times that the test ushered China into a new phase in terms of missile interception technologies.

"China needs an improved capability and more means of military defense as the country faces increasing security threats," Yang said, adding that it is China's legitimate right to carry out such tests.

"Compared with a previous test of anti-satellite technologies, the missile interception system is more advanced as the targets are moving objects and the satellite was flying within a preplanned orbit," Yang said.

China said it successfully tested its anti-satellite system in 2007.

The United States and Russia are the only two countries that have missile interception technologies.

Yang said China should display its determination and strength in national defense and the capability to safeguard its core interests on appropriate occasions.

Jin Canrong, a deputy director of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said the development of missile interception technologies is a step further on the country's course to military modernization.

"China has been pursuing a defense strategy. The missile interception system will not alter such a discipline, but strengthens the national defense strategy," Jin said.

The report of the Chinese missile test followed the Obama administration's approval last week to sell PAC-3, an upgraded Patriot air-defense missile system, to Taiwan. The PAC-3 can shoot down Chinese short-range missiles.

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90786/6865759.html

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