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Friday, January 11, 2013

China's Satellite & Missile Tracking Ship Alongside Its Latest Type 052D Destroyer [Image Of The Day]

Satellite imagery showing China's Yuan Wang 5 Space Tracking ship alongside what is believed to be a Type 052D Destroyer, as China gets ready to conduct an ASAT test.


via: Digitalglobe

Adding to the significance of these images is the fact that recent reports suggest that the Communists in China are getting ready to conduct a test of its Anti-Satellite [ASAT] missile. They tested the capability for the first time, on this day, January 11, in 2007. A Missile Defence test, conducted using the same technology, occurred, again, on January 11, in 2010. While the Yuanwang-5 will undoubtedly be put to use if and when the Chinese carry out the test, the presence of the Destroyer along its side may just be incidental. No news reports presently indicate the 052D, if at all it is that, been inducted into service with their Navy. In fact, this particular hull looks quite under-made. Its surface appears unpainted, displaying the hue of the protective red oxide primer coating on metal. Moreover, the helipad area has been left unmarked. Not sea-worthy, yet, as far as one can tell. China's presently known ASAT missile, the SC-19, is a derivative of its DF-21-series ballistic missile.

DRDO has time and again reiterated the fact that the building blocks for India's own ASAT capability are in place, needing only the go-ahead from the country's civilian planners, to not require undertaking such a programme from scratch. Considering India has a major presence in Space, using its satellites for wide-ranging applications of socio-economic benefits, demonstration of such capability that generates millions of harmful space debris, would likely be quite low on its priorities, at this moment. Nevertheless, it would be very interesting to keep an eye out for China's forthcoming test, if and when it happens.


Related: Indian understanding of China [collection of writings]