The People’s Liberation Army has carried out a second, albeit unsuccessful test of a hypersonic vehicle, two sources close to the military said, as China attempts to find a way to deliver nuclear weapons at immense speed to evade defence systems.
The test was carried out on August 7 at a missile and satellite launching centre in Shanxi province, about 300 kilometres from its capital Taiyuan.
The vehicle broke up soon after it was launched. It was the second time the PLA has tested the system. The first test took place on January 9, and it was confirmed by the National Defence Ministry as successful a few days later.
The latest model is designed to be carried by a ballistic missile to an undisclosed suborbital altitude, then released. The vehicle then dives towards its target at speeds of up to Mach 10, more than 12,000km/h.
The United States is the only other nation known to have developed similar technology. China first tested the technology successfully in January. Russia and India are also known to be developing similar vehicles.
The JL-2, China’s second-generation submarine-launched ballistic missile, is set to enter service. China may develop its next generation with a range of at least 12,000 km in order to reach North America from the South China Sea, Want Daily reports.
The PLA Navy’s nuclear-powered Type 094 submarine was spotted patrolling with the missile, which has a range of around 8,000 km and can carry multiple warheads, at the beginning of this year. The Chinese military ended its decade-long research, development and trials for the missile at the end of 2012 and has been preparing to introduce it to its arsenal. State broadcaster CCTV recently aired a documentary on the missile’s development process with video clips of its firing tests.
Photos posted by military enthusiasts show three Type 094 submarines, capable of launching the JL-2, in Sanya, Hainan province. A fourth of the class of submarine is said to be under construction.
China’s state-run media have declared Australia a threat to its national security, after Australia finalized a 25-year military pact with the United States.
The United States currently has 1,200 troops from the Marine Corps and Air Force training with Australian troops for humanitarian and disaster relief. The defense agreement will increase the number of U.S. troops at Darwin in northern Australia to 2,500.
The Chinese regime is none too pleased about the agreement, however.
Li Jie, rear admiral of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, told Want China Times that Australia could pressure China’s supply lines in the Strait of Malacca in a conflict over the South China Sea.
“Australia is therefore likely to become a threat to China’s national security,” it states.
Global Times reported that if a war broke out between China and Vietnam or the Philippines, the United States could deploy submarines and aircraft from Australia.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the U.S.-Australia Force Posture Agreement on Tuesday, August 12, alongside Australian minister of defense David Johnston and minister of foreign affairs Julie Bishop.
Hagel said during a press conference, “This is a part of the world that represents five of America’s seven treaty obligation countries that we are committed to, which we’ve made very clear we’re committed to.”
Johnston said the U.S. troops are helping train the Australian military. “The Marines, of course, are the world’s experts in amphibious combat and amphibious operations,” he said during the press conference. “And so, we’re watching as to how those operations are carried out.”
After the Chinese government acknowledged the existence of the DF-41 nuclear solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, the Nanning Evening News said that more advanced missiles will be revealed in the near future.
The information regarding the DF-41 was accidentally released in a report from the official website of the Shaanxi Environmental Monitoring Center. The paper said the names of various other types of new missiles including the DF-26, the HQ-1 and the HQ-26 were also mentioned in the report. This suggests that more missile systems will soon be revealed to the public, according to the paper.
The Japanese Defense Ministry is considering introducing a new ground-based type of interceptor missile that the United States is developing, in an effort to bolster Japan’s ballistic missile defense system, ministry sources said.
The ministry intends to introduce new ground-based SM-3 missiles, in addition to the sea-based SM-3s that the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) already possesses, to enhance Tokyo’s readiness to intercept ballistic missiles heading toward Japan. The ministry is expected to allocate tens of millions of yen from the fiscal 2015 state budget for research on the missile.
Since a ground-based SM-3 can defend an area within a radius of about 500 kilometers, three missile posts could cover the whole of Japan. Launch pads for the SM-3 can be disassembled in five to 10 days and can easily be built in other locations.
SM-3s are equipped with a high-performance radar. Since sea-based SM-3 missiles are installed on Aegis destroyers, ground-based SM-3s are dubbed “Aegis ashore.”