Development of China's ASAT


China test another ASAT Free beacon
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DN-3 test contrails

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November 9, 2015 5:00 am

China recently conducted a flight test of a new missile capable of knocking out U.S. satellites as part of Beijing’s growing space warfare arsenal.

The test of a Dong Neng-3 exoatmospheric vehicle was carried out Oct. 30 from China’s Korla Missile Test Complex in western China, said two defense officials familiar with reports of the test.

A Chinese press report also provided details of what was said to be a missile defense interceptor flight test carried out Nov. 1. Photos of the missile’s contrails were posted online.

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DN-3 test contrails

However, the defense officials said the DN-3 is primarily a direct-ascent missile designed to ram into satellites and destroy them, even if intelligence assessments hold that the weapon has some missile defense capabilities.

The DN-3 flight test was the eighth time China carried out an anti-satellite missile test. An earlier test occurred in July 2014, which China also asserted was a missile defense test.

State Department and Pentagon officials declined to comment on the anti-satellite test.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman said: “I don’t have detailed information about the missile test you mentioned.”

“China advocates for the peaceful use of outer space, and opposes space weaponization or arms race in space,” the spokesman said in an email.

A State official referred to a
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from February by Frank Rose, assistant secretary of State for arms control, verification and compliance, who commented on the 2014 test.

“Despite China’s claims that this was not an ASAT [anti-satellite] test; let me assure you the United States has high confidence in its assessment, that the event was indeed an ASAT test,” Rose said.

“The continued development and testing of destructive ASAT systems is both destabilizing and threatens the long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment,” he added.

China’s most disruptive ASAT test occurred in January 2007 when a direct ascent missile destroyed a Chinese weather satellite, creating tens of thousands of debris pieces that pose a continuing danger to both satellites and manned spacecraft, like the International Space Station.

Rose said the secrecy surrounding China’s ASAT program is preventing any U.S. cooperation with Beijing on space. Cooperation will only possible after “China changes its behavior with regard to ASATs,” he said.

Documents disclosed by Wikileaks revealed that the United States and Asian allies issued protests to China over a January 2010 flight test of an anti-satellite missile from an SC-19 rocket booster.

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DN-3 test contrails

It could not be learned if protests were lodged over the Oct. 30 test.

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Nov. 1 that the unusual contrails near the city of Korla, in Xinjiang province, that appeared to be signs of a spacecraft launch or possibly “a midcourse anti-missile test.”

“In recent years, similar clouds have appeared over the skies of Xinjiang many times,” the report said. “A few of them have been linked to land-based midcourse anti-missile interception tests.”

Hong Kong’s Ming Pao then reported Nov. 4 that the test appear to be a “final-phase missile interception test had been conducted in the upper atmosphere.”

“The capability to intercept was one of the capabilities of the PRC Hongqi-19 missile, and may be employed to intercept high supersonic gliding targets on the offensive,” Ming Pao stated.

A forthcoming report by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission contains an entire chapter on China’s military and civilian space capabilities.

The report discusses two anti-satellite missiles, the SC-19 and the larger DN-2, which are meant to be fired in pre-determined flight paths as a satellite passes over Chinese territory.

Henri K. is convinced that the missile was a HQ-19 and that the report deliberately altered it as to tarnish the reputation of the Chinese.


Junior Member
Henri K. is convinced that the missile was a HQ-19 and that the report deliberately altered it as to tarnish the reputation of the Chinese.
Is their any logical reason for an ASAT missile to conduct those corkscrewing maneuvers to deliberately slow itself down?

Popular mechanic seems to think this was an ABM test not ASAT.
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New Member
Registered Member
Is their any logical reason for an ASAT missile to conduct those corkscrewing maneuvers to deliberately slow itself down?
To slow the missile down and intercept at lower altitudes, shorter distances, and also for safety constraints during tests.

Energy-Management Steering Maneuver for Thrust Vector-Controlled Interceptors

Qiang Zhi, Yuan-Li Cai, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 11-12/ 2012


This paper attempts to give a complete scheme to describe energy-management steering maneuver for thrust vector-controlled interceptors. Energy-management steering maneuver relates to thrust vector control, and thus spiral motion, direct-force control, large attitude-angle flight, the appropriate models of missile dynamics, spiral trajectory, and the corresponding control strategy must be established. A nonlinear, strong-coupling, parameter, time-varying, dynamical model is employed to describe the large attitude-angle flight. A feedback-linearization technique based on differential geometry is then used for the attitude-controller design. A helical-coordinate system is established that is suitable for describing the spiral motion. Finally, some six-degrees-of-freedom simulation results verified the performance of the proposed approach.

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Junior Member
Is their any logical reason for an ASAT missile to conduct those corkscrewing maneuvers to deliberately slow itself down?

Because the missile keep missing its target and have to continue to tail-chase the target until it ran out of the fuel! :D


Lieutenant General
China Carries Out Flight Test of Anti-Satellite Missile
DN-3 missile highlights growing space warfare capabilities

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China's DN-3 Test
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August 2, 2017 5:00 am

China recently carried out a flight test of a new anti-satellite missile that highlights the growing threat of Beijing's space warfare capabilities.

The flight test of the Dong Neng-3 direct ascent missile was tracked by U.S. intelligence agencies on July 23 from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia, in northwestern China, said U.S. defense officials familiar with reports of the launch.

The officials said the launch was not successful and the DN-3 appeared to malfunction in the upper atmosphere after the launch at night.

The launch took place after Chinese authorities posted a notice to airlines to avoid flying near the flight path of the missile. The missile's flight
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by several Chinese internet users near the Jiuquan facility.

Despite the failure, China's space warfare program is said to be advancing rapidly as an asymmetric warfare weapon that will allow a less capable Chinese military to defeat the U.S. military in a future conflict.

The Pentagon's annual report on the Chinese military states that in December the Chinese created a new Strategic Support Force that will unify space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities.

"The PLA continues to strengthen its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space, " the report said.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and a space warfare expert, said both China and Russia are advancing space-war fighting capabilities.

"China right now is ahead of Russia because they've been on a consistent path for a longer time," Hyten said in an interview in Omaha last week.

Hyten said the U.S. military currently has a "very robust space capability."

"And the threats that we face are actually very small," he said.

However, the significant U.S. advantage in space is eroding and satellites are becoming more vulnerable to attack.

"We have very old space capabilities too, very effective space capabilities, but they are very old and not built for a contested environment," he said.

The space warfare threat is "a much nearer-term issue for the commander after me, and for the commander after that person, it will be more significant because the gap is narrowing quickly and we have got to move quickly to respond to it," Hyten said.


Lieutenant General
From Henri K blog we haven't hear for a while from Chinese ASAT program and now this
Chinese army receives new ASAT missiles?
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The analysis of an article published in mid-June in a specialized magazine suggests that a new batch of ABM or ASAT missiles was delivered late May to the Chinese army.

The text starts from the outset indicating that the delivery of the first batch of a "new product", derived and improved from a "flagship product" (经典 产品), was carried out on May 26, 2016 by China Sanjiang Space Group (CSSG).

The CSSG is a subsidiary of the CASIC group and is known to have designed the DF-11 family of short-range ballistic missiles, for example . As the Chinese word "经典 产品" can also be translated into "classic product", I first associated this new delivery with this iconic ballistic missile, knowing that its test shots still took place until October l last year and I just learned that there are not 4 but 5 versions of DF-11.

But as the playback continues, the DF-11 track is gradually fading away.

In the first place, the only two photos of the article show that the "new product" in question has a diameter in about 1.4m, which is well above 0.86m of DF-11. We can see it here -

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Source: cnautotime

Then the name of the chief engineer of the program cited in the article is HU Sheng Yun (胡胜云). It is this name that immediately aroused me because, since February 2005, he has been appointed chief engineer of a certain "Project 8005", which is also known as KT-409 , or the SC-19 for Americans.

For those who do not yet see what this program is, it is he who blew up, on this famous day of January 11, 2007, the old Chinese weather satellite Fengyun-1C in addition to 2,000 pieces in one orbit 850km altitude.

Kinetic weapon "Project 8005", the base of Chinese ABM & ASAT missiles
It is difficult to find coherent information on Chinese anti-missile and anti-satellite missiles - on the one hand, the Chinese hardly ever communicate on the subject, at least not publicly. The "puzzle game" is certainly fun but just as long.

On the other hand, the Americans, for reasons that escape me, only communicate what he arranges for them in the media, making the only source of information available to the public at home practically useless. For example, for some Chinese ABM test shots, US services systematically announce them as "ASAT".

To give us a summary view of things, I put together in the same diagram the elements coming from my follow-ups and the most credible sources of the two worlds, which allows to see a small part of the iceberg of these Chinese vectors -

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Partial Family Tree of Project 8005

It is believed that a vast military program to partially neutralize US space capability was decided and launched shortly after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1989.

Project 8005, which aims to develop a kinetic weapons launch vehicle, was launched in parallel with several other projects, such as Project 863-409 for exo-atmospheric guidance systems, and Project 863 -801 for the KKV (Kinetic-Kill Vehicle).

In September 2002, the CSSG won the tender for the two other CASIC subsidiaries and won the right to pilot the development of the 8005 Project. HU Sheng Yun, who is quoted above, was appointed project chief engineer. in February 2005.

The design of KT-409 is based on a former solid propellant launcher CASIC group, the KT-1 . The KT-409 should therefore have some characteristics of its predecessor, which measures 1.4m in diameter, and has 3 solid propellant stages and a liquid propellant upper stage.

The first test flight of KT-409, which would then be called DN-1 once its integrated ASAT head, took place on July 8, 2005. DN is the abbreviation of Dong Neng ( 动能 ), which means "Kinetic " in Chinese.

The Chinese call this launcher "kinetic weapon", we see this in the inscription written on a large medallion which is located at the Jiuquan Space Launch Center (JSLC) museum.

In the picture below, there are also two stamps of the post, extracted from the collection envelopes that are sold in a very closed circle of collectors. We can see what this Chinese ASAT missile looks like -

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The second test flight of DN-1 follows 7 months later, before the weapon is used in a first real interception of satellite in January 2007.

Two other Dong Neng launcher versions have since been developed - the DN-2 is
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, and the DN-3 a brand new missile that made its first flight on the 1st November 2015 and that would be the improved version of DN-1.

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Kuaizhou 1 and Kuaizhou 11

Note that the CASIC group is designing a series of so-called "fast reaction" rockets based on KT-409, called "Kuaizhou" (快 舟, which means fast ship in Chinese).

Very similar to the US Operationally Responsive Space (OBS) program, the Kuaizhou concept consists in building storable rockets, whose satellites of different categories are already integrated. The launch is made via mobile platforms, such as a ballistic missile on his TEL.

The advantage of this kind of system is its speed of orbiting and restoring the space capacity reactively.

For example, if China's normal satellites are shot down in the event of a conflict, it is sufficient to choose the right satellite or satellites that are already integrated into their rockets, take the TELs out of the underground fortifications and launch the rockets. The cycle should not exceed 8h between the choice of the satellite to launch and the setting in orbit.

Two Kuaizhou-1 rockets have already been launched in 2013 and 2014. A larger version, the Kuaizhou-11 , with a diameter of 2.2m and a take-off weight of 78t, is expected to make its first flight by 2017 Its carrying capacity is 1,000kg in SSO orbit at 700km altitude.

And as never two without three, the Kuaizhou-21 of 3m in diameter is also in development. The CASIC group plans to launch it around 2025.

It is important to know this Kuaizhou family, because if it is difficult to have direct information on Dong Neng missiles, Kuaizhou who shares with them the same "technological kinship" could give us even interesting indications.

In addition, the chief engineer assistant to Project 8005 is none other than the chief engineer of the Kuaizhou program ...

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Kuaizhou-1 Rapid Response Military Launcher

So we can think that DN-1 and Kuaizhou-1 are technically quite close. The latter is able to place 250kg in SSO orbit at 500km, or 200kg in SSO orbit at 700km. Its takeoff weight is around 30t.

Knowing that the capacity required for an ASAT missile is about 100kg, the DN-1 should perform well because of the characteristics of Kuaizhou-1. As an indication, the GBI missile of the American NMD system for example measures 1.28m in diameter and weighs in the 22t. Its main payload is a KKV of 64kg.

What did the CSSG finally deliver?
After taking a quick tour around the Chinese ASAT missiles, let's get back to the subject of departure - What is the content of this new delivery batch made by the CSSG?

Architecture of KT-409

Some additional clues can be found in the text. For example it is mentioned that the company is "supplier and final integrator of the project for 7 years", so since 2009, but with this new product it is obliged to work in collaboration with other units. We also learn that the development of this improved version is started in 2014.

This date of 2009 corresponds to that of the start of the Kuaizhou project, but there are no other launches of Kuaizhou-1 planned for the moment.

The date of 2014, on the other hand, is interesting because the Kuaizhou-11 project was launched at the end of 2014. And just like the Kuaizhou-1, its development is ensured by the CSSG today.

So here we have either a new batch of improved ASAT missiles, or the first components for a space launcher like Kuaizhou-11 to be launched next year.

To be continued.


Lieutenant General
From Henri K blog citing US intelligence who believe that China's ASAT is now in service

Anti-satellite: China is armed with laser and missiles?
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The subject "Anti-satellite", or ASAT, was the subject of two well-distinguished articles here at East Pendulum in September 2016. The first, published on September 4, 2016, discusses
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, and the second, published two weeks later, makes an attempt to analyze the possible delivery of a new batch of ASAT missile to the Chinese army - a delivery that was made by China Sanjiang Space Group (CSSG), a subsidiary of the well-known Chinese missile group CASIC.

And if the word Anti-satellite has only occasionally been associated with China for precise communication purposes, two recently released US official reports seem to be quite positive that China will deploy very soon, if not already fact, multiple devices to counter the American space means, and will come to challenge the "superiority" see "supremacy" of the United States in this area.

In its January "
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" report this year, the US Airforce's National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), says for the first time that China now has units that train with anti-satellite missiles.

"These missiles can destroy the space systems of the United States and its allies in low Earth orbit, making the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and communication satellites vulnerable," the report said.

When we talk about the Chinese anti-satellite missile, we naturally remember the FY-1C Chinese weather satellite that was destroyed by direct kinetic impact with a head similar to the EKV, in January 2007. If what is present in the USAF report has actually turned out, it will come down to saying that China has now passed the experimental stage to enter the concrete application of its anti-satellite weapons.

If several units of the Chinese army began to train with such a vector recently (?), Then
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could well be related to the information revealed by the Americans.

It also means that Project 8005, the code name for a massive Chinese kinetic weapons development program, has at least one descendant that has entered or is in service, in addition to several anti-virus vectors. -missiles tested for a decade.


Partial Family Tree of Project 8005
It should be noted that the anti-satellite missile is not the only Chinese vector mentioned in the USAF report: "Cyber, electronic or directed energy weapons, as well as other space weapons, will allow potential opponents to 'cause harmful effects. "

In this regard, another US report, entitled "
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" and published this time by the agency DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) of the Pentagon earlier this year, suggests that China could put into use a ground-based laser weapon by 2020, capable of reaching low-orbiting sensors (ie reconnaissance satellites for example), and a laser system powerful enough to "extend the threat to to the structure of non-optical satellites 'in the second half of the 2020s'.

China's PLA has developed as ASAT missiles.

If it is also the first time that an American intelligence service reveals such a precise planning on Chinese energy-directed weapons, the quotes used by this second report have an istorics that go back to most of them. 10 years, if not more.

Indeed, the authors of the report seem to have analyzed several Chinese academic documents dating from 2002 to 2010, while relying on
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front of the Congress in February 2018, to advance on the written dates.

It should be noted that in Dan Coats' report, he also mentioned units of the Chinese army that began their "initial operational training" around counter-space means, including anti-satellite missiles.

But unlike the subject of the anti-satellite missile where the announcement is made in the affirmative, the various US reports have rather remained conditional on the Chinese laser systems.

Apart from the few (supposed) Chinese "sky-pointing" laser tests where NOTAM messages are publicly available, high-power laser systems, for their part, still seem to be in the shadows despite a development that dates back almost 60 years, in the 60 ', and just waiting to be revealed.


One of the Chinese sites of the high-power ground laser