China 'Developing Satellites to Guide Missiles'

China has been reportedly developing satellites that would help it attack aircraft carriers with anti-ship ballistic missiles.

Shanghai's Eastday newspaper on Thursday cited a report from the Project 2049 Institute, a defense think tank in the U.S., saying China has been developing high-definition satellites, radar satellites, electronic-reconnaissance satellite and small satellites powered by solid fuel to track and target U.S. carrier strike groups in real time.

By using satellites operating in a low orbit, the Chinese military hopes to improve the precision strike ability of its middle and long-range ballistic missiles by accurately locating targets.

China has stationed so-called "carrier-killer" DF-21D ballistic missiles at military base. They can reportedly travel 3,000 km and are capable of attacking U.S. carriers in the west Pacific, Indian Ocean and South China Sea, though it not entirely clear whether their capacity lives up to initial reports.

One of China's weather satellites, which went into operation in 2008, already has some of these functions, according to the institute. The satellite has 12 all-weather sensors that can provide the exact location and signals of targets in addition to weather information. It is understood that China is also busy developing an early warning satellite for detection and counterattack of enemy ballistic missiles.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 13, 2012 13:28 KST