Author: Rong ping source: official account: Rong Ping (id:rongping898) has been authorized to reprint
“The east wind puts thousands of flowers and trees at night, and the stars are like rain.”. This word was originally used by Xin Qiji, a poet of the Song Dynasty, to describe the lively scene of the Lantern Festival. However, with the continuous development of military technology, this word has been given a new meaning by people. A recent antimissile technology test carried out in China has brought a wonder of “stars like rain” to the sky.
On the late night of June 19, 2022 Beijing time, the Ministry of national defense published a concise message on its official wechat official account, with a total number of words less than 60. The specific contents are as follows: on the evening of June 19, 2022, China conducted a land-based midcourse anti missile interception technology test in China, and the test achieved the expected purpose. The experiment is defensive and not aimed at any country.
As the saying goes, “the less words, the greater things.” the Ministry of national defense rarely issued a document on missile tests. Not long after the document was issued late at night, this topic rushed onto the list of major media. Its momentum even caught up with that of the Fujian ship launched on June 17. Foreign media also made a lot of analysis. So, what kind of test is this anti missile interception technology? Why should the Ministry of defense emphasize that it does not target any country? We will answer these questions one by one.
(data picture: interceptors across the sky)
Source and flow
Let’s first explain what the land-based midcourse antimissile means. Land based means that the missile is launched from the land, which is different from sea based (launched on a warship platform), submarine launched (launched by a submarine underwater) and air-based (launched by an aircraft); The middle section refers to the flight distance from the shutdown point to the reentry point of the intercontinental ballistic missile.
(complete trajectory of ballistic missile)
It is not difficult to see from the above figure that intercontinental ballistic missiles can be divided into three stages from take-off to landing. At present, the vast majority of antimissile missiles are intercepted at the end, that is, from the re-entry point to the landing point. This interception method is relatively mature, and all major countries have sufficient technical reserves. However, antimissile missiles are used to intercept missiles after all. If the interception point is close to the national border, the nuclear materials in the warhead will inevitably leak to the country, causing nuclear pollution like “dirty bombs”. Moreover, another problem with terminal interception is that the consequences of interception failure are too serious. As the so-called “air defense, air defense, air defense, air defense and nine air defense”, no matter how advanced the anti missile system can guarantee 100% interception rate, and terminal interception is the last barrier. Once there is a fish in the net, it can only let it go.
You should know that this anti missile technology basically intercepts intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. Even if one of the sub missile warheads is not intercepted, the damage will be devastating. For example, the equivalent of the “little boy” exploded in Hiroshima that year was 15000 tons, while Russia’s current main intercontinental ballistic missile code is r-36m, which can carry 10 750000 ton equivalent sub missile warheads. Let’s feel the progress of military science and technology by ourselves.
It is precisely because of the above disadvantages of terminal interception that the United States and the Soviet Union began to study the intermediate interception at the peak of the cold war in the last century, trying to intercept the intercontinental ballistic missile during its long-distance flight.
But the difficulty of intercepting in the middle section is very high. Although the ballistic missile is in the middle of a long distance, because it flies outside the atmosphere, the missile’s speed is very fast. The Wuchang technology can basically reach 15 times the speed of sound, and China and the United States can even reach 25 times the speed of sound. Imagine how hard it takes to intercept such a high-altitude and high-speed target? Some people use “anti-aircraft gunfire against mosquitoes” to describe the anti missile in the middle section, but in fact it is much simpler than the anti missile in the middle section.
Sixty years of struggle
After the above introduction, I believe you have a certain understanding of the significance of the mid course ABM test. To some extent, the success of China’s mid course anti missile test is even more worrying to the United States than the launching of Fujian warships. On the aircraft carrier track, the level of Fujian ships is still close to a generation behind that of the United States. Optimistically, it will take 20 years for Chinese aircraft carriers to reach the level of the U.S. “Ford” class aircraft carriers. Don’t think this speed is slow. It is equivalent to completing the U.S. road for more than 50 years in 20 years.
In the middle of the anti missile track, the status of China and the United States has been reversed. This time, China has conducted a total of six land-based antimissile technology tests. The first test was in 2010, and all the six tests were successful. However, the success rate and test times of the United States are not as good as those of China. From 1999 to 2019, the U.S. military conducted more than 20 land-based midcourse ABM tests, but the success rate is only 50%, which is based on the fact that it is not close to actual combat.
Behind this gap lies the efforts of our military personnel for more than a century. In the 1960s, China officially began to study anti missile technology. When Qian Xuesen, the person in charge, reported the research progress to Mao Zedong, Mao Zedong said in earnest: “five years is not enough, 10 years is not enough; 10 years is not enough, and 15 years must be done”! In this way, China’s anti missile system has developed step by step from scratch, from backward to advanced. The deeds of chendeming, the “anti missile expert”, who was reported by various major media in 2016, further illustrate the efforts of military personnel behind the scenes.
We may never know what difficulties they have overcome, but what we can know is the strict requirements for the technology of anti missile in the middle section. In order to successfully realize the midcourse ABM, it is necessary to have an all-round reconnaissance capability of sea, land, air and space. Finding incoming missiles is the starting point of all other work. However, the radar reflection area of the warhead is even less than 0.1 square meters, which is completely different from the detection of other targets. The second is the ability to accurately track targets, which is the most difficult part. A warhead flying at a speed of more than Mach 20 has already flown 6 kilometers even one second later. How to track such a target and predict its trajectory? As for launching an interceptor at the same high altitude and high speed, it is not worth mentioning.
It is precisely because of the above difficulties that only China, the United States and Russia have carried out midcourse ABM tests in the world, while the test results of Russia and the United States are not ideal. At present, only China’s technology can be used, which means that China has a trump card in the field of nuclear deterrence.
The strongest shield
If the “militia” of the United States, the “poplar” of Russia and the “Dongfeng” (both code names of ICBM) of China are the strongest spears in the world, then the midcourse anti missile technology is the strongest shield.
Before the development of midcourse antimissile technology, the only way to maintain the nuclear balance is to vigorously expand the nuclear arsenal and improve the secondary nuclear strike capability. As mentioned above, terminal interception can not intercept all incoming ballistic missiles. It is totally unreliable to hope that this. For a long time, spears can always pierce the shield’s defense, and passive defense cannot maintain the nuclear balance.
So the two great powers of the United States and the Soviet Union established a policy of “mutual destruction”, that is, to develop a large number of nuclear weapons. If the other side dares to launch nuclear weapons against itself, its own missiles will also rush out to the other side, forcing the other side to throw away its weapons. However, this policy has also brought great problems to the United States and the Soviet Union. First, it requires huge expenses to maintain nuclear arsenals. Second, the consequences of misjudgment are too serious. According to the current declassified data, the United States and the Soviet Union nearly wiped their guns and went off fire many times during the cold war. The world we live in was not far from destruction.
The midcourse antimissile technology is the key to change the nuclear strategy. Mastering the midcourse antimissile technology means that we have built a new defense line in the sky, which can greatly reduce the damage caused by a possible nuclear war. However, our ballistic missiles can penetrate enemy targets without fear. The game advantage formed by this one-on-one combination will force countries willing to launch a nuclear war to dare not fight. This is the importance of nuclear balance.
For example, the war between Russia and Ukraine lasted so long, but the United States, which has always been keen to act as a straw, did not dare to go beyond the minefield. Not only did it not directly send troops to Ukraine, but even its assistance to Ukraine’s heavy weapons depended on Russia’s face. Behind this was the nuclear balance escorting Russia. The conventional strength of the Russian army has indeed exposed its weakness in this war, but the strength of nuclear power is something that other countries dare not try anyway. No one dares to bet whether Russia will lead the United States to destruction. The deterrent power of Russia’s huge nuclear weapons is fully reflected at this time. The midcourse anti missile technology is a tool used to break this terrible nuclear balance. I hit you, but you can’t hit me. Can the nuclear balance be maintained?
In addition, the technology of intercontinental ballistic missile will not have leapfrog progress for a long time in the future. At most, it will develop in performance, and its basic mode cannot be changed. Even most of the intercontinental ballistic missiles that the United States and Russia are now the main force are the products of the 1980s. There is also a lot of room for the mid course anti missile technology developed at present to play in the future. Moreover, the defense of the shield has been improved. In order to maintain deterrence, the United States is bound to upgrade its own spear. Such a large sum of money is bound to occupy the military expenditure of the United States and affect the upgrading of its conventional weapons.
Since the explosion of the first atomic bomb, China has promised the world that China will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. At that time, the realistic background of making this decision was that China’s nuclear power was still very weak, which could not make the United States throw a rat in its mouth, so it showed its enemy with weakness. Although the world is different now, this strategy will not change, because China not only has the number of nuclear weapons that match its status, but also has the unique intercontinental ballistic missile interception technology in the world. Which country dares to gamble on China’s spear and shield at the risk of chicken flying eggs?
Although the Ministry of national defense emphasized in its notice that this test is not aimed at any country and is defensive in nature, the United States may not believe this. There are only a few countries in the world that have mastered the technology of ICBM. India is the only country that is not permanent and has a certain threat to China. However, whether India can fight accurately is a problem. From an optimistic perspective, its technical level is equivalent to that of China in the 1990s; Within the five permanent members, Britain, France and Russia have basically no possibility of using nuclear weapons against China. What country is left to say? It is the United States that is on guard.
(Indian Agni ballistic missile)
In recent years, the United States has taken a variety of measures to curb China’s development, and trump has created a precedent of throwing the pot on China in everything. The scene of Biden and trump accusing each other of “communicating with China” during the 2020 general election is not funny, which shows that the United States has regarded China as a subconscious “enemy”. The current situation also requires China to guard against possible US war adventures.
From the recent actions of the United States, this country that pursues the “carrot and stick” also needs a lesson. At the Shangri La dialogue held in early June, the defense ministers of China and the United States held closed door talks. After the talks, U.S. Defense Secretary Austin actually openly talked about the Taiwan issue, meddled in China’s internal affairs, and said at the conference that he would “strengthen the U.S. presence in Asia”. Such acts are a direct reflection of “the United States will not die if it kills me”. Austin’s statement has also given confidence to some clowns on the island. You Xikun, who once served as the chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, recently publicly claimed that Taiwan’s self-made “Yunfeng” missile can hit the mainland. Is there no future for the initiator?
In the final analysis, all writers must be armed. The warning without force as a basis is like a dead letter to the United States, which has always believed in “strength first”.
China’s attitude has been repeated many times through various channels. Secretary of defense Wei Fenghe also reminded Austin in person. However, the United States still goes its own way and ignores China’s warnings. This is caused by the hegemonic thinking of the United States.
If the United States wants to exercise restraint, it needs to show its attitude with practical actions. This is the only language the United States understands, from North Korea to Vietnam. In an interview on February 2, 2021, the commander of the US Strategic Command said that nuclear war with China or Russia is “really possible”. At that time, China responded to him in the same way as it does now. Two days later, on February 4, 2021, the Ministry of national defense also sent a document late at night to announce the success of the mid course anti missile test. The US military commander then stopped for a while. To be realistic, the United States has never given up the idea of using nuclear weapons. Our defense is not groundless.
At the end of the article, the author has something to say
“The Chinese people have the ambition and ability to catch up with and surpass the world advanced level in the near future.” this sentence is Mao Zedong’s expectation for future development when new China is awash in waste.
Over the past 70 years, this goal has been achieved in many fields. The success of the mid course ABM test is a perfect example. We are still ahead of the Americans. For the United States, this means that the nuclear blackmail it often talks about can no longer affect China. It even has to make every effort to catch up with China’s current mid-range anti missile level, otherwise it will not be able to maintain the nuclear balance, and may even face the nuclear pressure from China in turn.
China will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but that does not mean that it will never use nuclear weapons. Now that it has the midcourse anti missile technology, it will not be afraid of others using nuclear weapons in the future. The strongest shield and spear are in the hands of China. It is not far to tie the black dragon.