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China’s 3rd anti-missile test hits ‘preset goal’

China on Tuesday announced the successful launch of a mid-course land-based missile interception test, its third since 2010.

The test of interception technology was conducted on Monday within China’s territory and achieved a preset goal, said the Ministry of National Defense.

The test is defensive and does not target any country, said the ministry.

China Daily said that Chinese military authorities provided no further information, including at which stage the missiles were intercepted. After a missile is launched, interception normally takes place at one of the three key stages of trajectory: boost, mid-course or terminal phase.

China completed two mid-course, land-based missile interception tests in 2010 and 2013, both of which “attained preset objectives.”

Analysts, as quoted by Xinhua News Agency, said the strategic importance of the capability of intercepting mid-course, land-based missiles is on par with being equipped with nuclear weapons and satellites.

Only a few countries, including the United States, have successfully conducted such tests in the past decade.

The latest test came one month after the US military used an interceptor missile to destroy a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean, the first time in six years that the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system destroyed a test target.

China had reportedly conducted two tests last year of “hypersonic glide vehicle,” or HGV.

HGVs are unmanned aircrafts which glide through the earth’s atmosphere at high speeds. China, defense experts believe wants to position the HGVs against the US THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system which shoots down a missile at the descent or reentry state.# Reports from Xinhua News Agency and China Daily