China Claims Development of ‘Ultrafast’ Anti-Missile Missile

By Arthur Dominic J. Villasanta , | May 27, 2017

China's new ultrafast interceptor missile (concept).

China's new ultrafast interceptor missile (concept).

China, which has only a single indigenously produced anti-ballistic missile (ABM), now claims to have developed an "ultrafast" ABM "10 times faster than a bullet" and capable of destroying incoming missile warheads like those deployed by the United States.

This "new-generation aerospace defense missile" incorporates "top space technologies." It's described by its developer, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation or CASIC, as "one of the cornerstones of a world power's strategic prowess."

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The name of this ultrafast interceptor wasn't revealed by Chinese state-controlled media which did, however, disclose this missile might have a range from 10 km to 100 km. The interceptor's minimum velocity might be around 12,000 km/h or Mach 9.8. A typical bullet fired by a pistol normally travels at some 1,200 km/h (Mach 0.98).

CASIC, one of the major defense contractors for the People's Liberation Army, said its Second Academy in Beijing developed this "new-generation aerospace defense missile."

It said a missile such as this is so difficult to design that only a handful of nations in the world such as the U.S. and Russia are able to develop it. It also claims the missile is capable of shooting down targets tens of kilometers above the ground flying 10 times faster than a bullet.

The CASIC Second Academy is China's major developer of air defense systems.

Interestingly, CASIC said the new anti-missile missile was developed by a team of designers with an average age of 32. These youngsters overcame numerous problems during research and development, including an explosion of one of the weapon's prototypes during a flight test.

Experts said an advanced anti-missile interceptor requires cutting-edge technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques and first-class materials. Such a weapon, however, can only be successful after a large number of test flights.

China successfully completed three land-based, midcourse missile interception tests in 2010, 2013 and 2014, said the Ministry of Defense.

China's only operational ABM is the DF-21D, which was originally designed as an anti-ship ballistic missile. This missile can be used as a space-capable anti-satellite weapon and anti-missile missile.

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