The following is based on a translation of a report on a Chinese news site.
According to a report on Chinese news site mil.huanqiu.com, China has developed and conducted a successful maiden flight of its CZ-11 anti-ASAT rocket with a diameter of 2 metres able to send a load of 350 kg to sun-synchronous orbit, or of 700 kg to low earth orbit.
At present most optical, radar electronic reconnaissance satellites use these two orbits.
Anti-ASAT systems are for quick replacement of military satellites when they have been destroyed by an enemy’s anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons.
It can carry a much heavier load than the rocket for the existing Kuaizhou anti-ASAT system.
According to the report, the CZ-11 can respond within 24 hours because it uses solid fuel and is stored in a launch tube with various stages connected and satellites installed.
The launch tube is carried by a truck that carries China’s DF-31 ICBM; therefore, it can be carried to a random launch site, erected and launched quickly.
It is easier to control the temperature and cleanness of a rocket installed with satellites in a launch tube.
In addition, the parts and components of the rocket and satellite are better protected in the tube.
The report continues that, in an emergency, the rocket can be launched after some simple checks and examinations.
Moreover, a rocket launched from a launch tube can be cold launched.
It will first be ejected from the tube by a burning gas generator or a piston system and ignited when it leaves the launch tube so that there will be less damage to the launch tube and the rocket by the fire.
The report concludes that, compared with similar U.S. and Japanese rockets, the CZ-11 excels in response time and launch expense.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “The rocket derived from DF-31 is superior to U.S. and Japanese ones” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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