Some industry analysts said that China appears to be developing a new missile weapon system that could incapacitate navigation and communication satellites, Defense News reported Monday.
Wendell Minnick writes U.S. officials believed that China’s third “anti-missile” test last month was part of an anti-satellite development program.
“This latest space interceptor test demonstrates a potential PLA [People’s Liberation Army] aspiration to restrict freedom of space flight over China,” said Mark Stokes, a missile expert with the Project 2049 Institute, according to Defense News.
Testing of a Chinese SC-19 weapon destroyed a space platform in 2007, while a smiliar test in 2010 shot down a ballistic missile, Minnick writes.
Richard Fisher, an International Assessment and Strategy Center military specialist, said it is possible that SC-19 have both anti-satellite and anti-missile features, according to Minnick’s article.
Defense News reports that Hans Kristensen, nuclear information project director at the Federation of American Scientists, is not convinced that China is just developing an ABM technology given the country has resources to invest in riskier projects.
“The interesting question is whether China is working on ABM technology to deploy its own defenses or to better understand and overcome the missile defenses of its potential adversaries,” Kristensen added, according to the publication.