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CHINA’S NEXT GEN AIR DEFENCE CONTROL SYSTEMS ARE A COMMON CHALLENGE TO USA AND INDIA

China’s media is prone to hyperbole when it comes to development of breakthrough technologies having military applications. They often claim of successes which on the face of it seem far-fetched or at least are years away from induction. But there seems to be some measure of truth that China is fast developing next generation of air defence systems.

Spokesman of China’s state-owned military-industry complex China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp has claimed that its new breed of air defence control systems are turning out to be highly efficient and accurate. China currently has an array of active radar homing surface-to-air missiles such as HQ-9 series which are in active service for more than two decades.

Recently HQ-9 missiles were in news for their deployment in Spratly Islands in South-China Sea. US Satellites had in May spotted HQ-9 look-alikes on the disputed islands along with J-11 aircrafts. It had strained the relations between two countries as China had given assurances of not deploying such weapons there.

And now what could be of greater concern to USA as well as India, China is building HQ-19, HQ-26 and HQ-29 according to a report by globalsecurity.org. The source believes China Aerospace Science (CASC)’s newly developed control systems are highly configurable for use across these platforms.

Wang Mengyi, the deputy head of the CASC Second Academy’s General Design Department, told the People’s Daily “Metaphorically put, these control systems are all capable of guiding a needle to fly 1000kms to pierce the eye of another needle.”

IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIA AND USA :

India and USA both are lagging behind in terms of hypersonic weapons that can pierce any modern air defence systems. So it is high time that they synergise their resources and counter their emerging common challenge.

With respect to India, I would say we need fast-pace the development of Electronic Jammers like Samyukta-2 with a jamming radius of 200km. In case hostilities start anywhere in future, such jammers would come very handy.

Also Akash-2 is long hanging fire. It is high time such indigenous systems are inducted at the earliest. Besides QRSAM, MRSAM, S-400, NASAMS-new air defence system in news for protection of National Capital Region, should be fast-tracked.

There was a welcome proposal from USA for co-development of next gen air-defence system. Such offers should be looked into earnest.

It has been in the news that China is deploying GPS Antennas on its ballistic missiles. USA is equipping its F/A-18 Hornet fleet with GPS antennas. But now that India has its own Desi GPS NAVI-C in place, no such news has yet trickled through from DRDO. Hopefully it will take steps in this direction as well

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