Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Beijing holds missile defense test


China yesterday said it successfully tested a mid-course anti-missile defense system within its own territory.

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense said in a brief statement on its Web site that Monday’s test achieved its “preset goal,” while offering no further details.

Mid-course interception involves destroying a ballistic missile while it is flying in space before re-entering the atmosphere.

The ministry said the test was “defensive and does not target any country.”

Given the description, the test was likely to be of the SC-19 system that was believed to have been used in knocking out a Chinese satellite in a 2007 test, said Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow with the Sydney-based Lowy Institute international policy think tank.

However, the exercise might not have included an actual interception utilizing the missile’s kill vehicle, but might have simply been a test of the missile’s booster, Roggeveen said.

He also warned against assuming that the test was aimed at the US, pointing instead to other regional players.

“This missile system is designed to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles and Washington does not deploy those in the Asia Pacific,” Roggeveen said. “On the other hand, both North Korea and India do have such missiles, so this test is more about them.”

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