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Defence & Aerospace

China is busy launching satellites for space-air military capabilities


China Military Satellite

China Military Satellite

China launched 19 and 20 satellites respectively in 2012 and 2013, mostly for its own use, and has thus become the country that launches the greatest number of satellites each year.

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly (quoting Chinese media), only a small number of China’s new satellites are for non-military space programs.

However, as pointed out in my new book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S., China’s space program is controlled by and serves Chinese military.

The following is the full text of Jane’s Defence Weekly’s recent article on Chinese satellites:

China launches latest of military, ‘experimental’ satellites

China launched a Long March-4B rocket carrying the Yaogan-21 remote sensing satellite and an experimental satellite, Tiantuo-2, from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre on 8 September.

Tiantuo-2, which was designed and built by the National University of Defence Technology (NUDT), “will be used for scientific experiments, natural resource survey, estimation of crop yields, and disaster relief,” according to Xinhua news agency.

This is the function China ascribes to most of its remote sensing satellites, but analysts believe that the Yaogan constellation is used for ocean surveillance.

The launch was the latest in a series by China. On 9 August a Long March-4C rocket launched the Yaogan-20 mission into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. While Xinhua reported the payload to be a satellite with the same purposes as the Yaogan-21, other sources indicate that the payload comprised three satellites, which were deployed in such a way that would make them suitable for operating as an ocean surveillance system.

Analysts believe that a range of sensors, encompassing electro-optical imaging, electronic intelligence (ELINT) intercept, and synthetic aperture radars, are carried by Yaogan series satellites. The first of the series, Yaogan-1, was launched on 27 April 2006 and is believed to have deployed China’s first space-based synthetic aperture radar. Yaogan-9, launched on 5 March 2010, was the first deployment of a triple satellite formation, followed by similar deployments from Yaogan-16 in November 2011 and Yaogan-17 in September 2013. The Yaogan-20 triplet, which is possibly a replacement for Yaogan-9, is believed to be for ELINT, detecting ships’ radar emissions, and determining emitter location through triangulation.

Internet sources, citing Xinhua, report that the experimental Tiantuo-2 carries four video cameras capable of streaming real-time data on moving objects. It is speculated that the system will be capable of tracking objects on the earth’s surface using real-time ground-controlled directional alignment of the cameras. An NUDT statement reported that the satellite will be used to test technologies for more advanced video imaging satellites.

The first Chinese satellite launch of 2014 was on 31 March and was of Shijian 11-06 (SJ-11-06). Chinese media reported this as an experimental satellite and provided no further details. However, the positioning of the Shijian 11 constellation, and similarities to the launch vehicle and orbit of Shiyan Weixing 2 (SY-2), launched on 18 November 2004, which tested IR sensors, has led some analysts to believe that the purpose is to support a ballistic missile early warning system, with satellites equipped with infrared sensors to detect missile launches. SJ-11-06 is the fifth satellite in the constellation; SJ-11-04 was lost in August 2011 after failure of the second stage of the launch vehicle.

Two other launches carrying three satellites for non-military space programmes have recently taken place; from Taiyuan on 19 August and from Jiuquan on 4 September. China has a third operational satellite launch centre at Xichang in Sichuan province and a fourth is being constructed at Wenquan on Hainan Island. Chinese media have reported that the Wenquan launch centre “is almost completed and can already launch space vehicles”.

It is anticipated that Wenquan will be used extensively for launches associated with the manned space programme and the Tiangong-2 space station, as it will be able to launch the larger, 5 m-diameter Long March 5 series rockets with heavier payloads. The first launch could take place later in 2014.

Source: Jane’s Defence Weekly “China launches latest of military, ‘experimental’ satellites”
 

 

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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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