The Chinese military seems to be rushing work on a satellite intended for the early detection of ballistic missile attacks, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday, citing an analysis of Chinese defense papers.
Work on this type of space-based detection has "become the most pressing mission in terms of (the Chinese military's) missile defense strategy preparation," one unidentified People's Liberation Army analyst said in a military paper. Having just three geo-stationary satellites positioned in space would allow Beijing to learn about ballistic missile firings in 25 to 30 minutes, according to one of the defense papers.
The Chinese military closely guards information about the development of its early-warning satellite so scant concrete information about the program is publicly known.
At present, just Russia and the United States operate early-warning satellites.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.