China Surpasses U.S. in Developing Prompt Global Strike Capabilities

Launch of Jilin-1 satellite group

Launch of Jilin-1 satellite group

China’s official military forum says that according to an article of Jane’s Defence Review’s website on November 12, China surpasses the U.S. in developing prompt global strike capabilities. It quotes the website as saying that China’s Kuaizhou/Fei Tian dual-use mobile launch system and the surveillance satellite constellation consisting of 138 satellites point to the emergence of a capability similar to the United States’ Prompt Global Strike (PGS) programme. The US PGS programme has been running since 2001 and involves combining intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), non-nuclear hypersonic warheads, and advanced surveillance systems to achieve precision strikes at intercontinental range. Although funding allocated for the programme reaches USD78.8 million for fiscal year 2016, the US has not yet developed and deployed a PGS system.

Jane’s article believes that as China has measured and tested long-range conventional missile strike system including DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles and conducted 5 tests of hypersonic glide vehicles, there is indication that China’s intercontinental PGS capabilities is perhaps taking shape.

In addition, China’s commercial Jilin satellite system also indicates the emergence of China’s PGS capabilities. The Jilin-1 group of satellites consists of 4 satellites: one 450-kg major satellite with resolution ratio of 0.72 meters, two dexterous image taking satellites with resolution ratio of 1.3 meters and one checking satellite with dexterous image taking. Chinese sources say that by 2030 there will be 138 satellites in Jilin satellite system with return visit speed of 10 minutes. It is expected that the satellites will become smaller with higher resolution. The PLA will use that satellite system to help its intercontinental PGS system update its targets.

As DF-21D, DF-26, Kuaizhou and DN-2 systems are all controlled by the 2nd Artillery Corp. the potential PGS system based on more powerful Kuaizhou-2 rocket will probably be controlled by the Corp.

Source: “Jane’s: China developing prompt global strike capabilities, surpassing the U.S. in progress” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China a Step ahead of US in Development of Space Quick Response System

Launch of a small solid carrier rocket by the US reports: At 1237 hours Beijing Time September 25, 2013, China used Kuaizhou (quick-vessel) small carrier rocket to launch Satillite Kuaizhou 1 smoothly into its preset orbit. (Comment by Shen Ze, special military commentator of The photo shows the launching of a small solid carrier rocket by the US. Foreign media believes that the Kuaizhou small carrier rocket launched by China is similar to that in the photo.)

Satellite Kuaizhou 1 will mainly be used for emergency disaster monitoring and information support for disaster rescue and relief. Its user is the National Remote Sensing Center of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

In future space war, once our satellite is destroyed by the enemy, we can promptly replace the lost satellite through the quick response satellite launch system and turn the adverse situation into a favorable one in theater. Analysts say that Kuaizhou small carrier rocket is a part of the new generation of space quick response battle system that China is developing. At present, only two countries China and the US are developing systems like that.

Space quick response battle system is mainly used in the quick launch of satellites or anti-satellite weapons. The successful launch this time marked China’s victory in its competition with the US to become the first country that has tested a complete quick response space vessel with integration of launch of satellite and rocket. It is of great strategic significance.

In 2002, in order to achieve world hegemony and control the space, the US began to develop its space quick response system so as to turn the above-mentioned combat imagination into reality. In 2013, China’s official media also began to disclose times and again similar battle system. Certainly, other countries lack the technological and economic strength to do so. No wonder, some media believe that the competition between China and the US for monopoly of space superiority will thoroughly change world military situation because in the 21st century, the one who controls the space will have the initiative.

At present, due to various reasons, the US has not implemented its quick response satellite system that DARPA was the first to have the idea of though it has already launched some static satellite systems and small solid rockets. However, there has been no record of US launch of a complete integrated system of launch rocket and satellite. China’s test commenced a new era in the history of human warfare.

Source: “China launched its Kuaizhou system: first maneuver of its space quick respond vessel” (excerpts translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)