CHINA STEALS A MARCH IN MISSILE MAKING
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
The People’s Republic of China has done it again. They have successfully launched a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle on January 9, 2014 and made it public in the columns of their official mouthpiece, China Daily on January 16, exactly a week after the great event. Perhaps they wished to make sure that all was well and the loose ends had been tied up. At the same time the Chinese civil hierarchy launched a diplomatic blitzkrieg by assuring the world at large that their singular achievement was not aimed at browbeating any other nation. It was certainly not aimed at America or any other neighbouring nation. Possibly they had Japan and India in mind.
After all what is this hullaballoo about? Well, it is indeed an achievement in the field of Space and further a launch of a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle. We in the developing world have been hearing about a supersonic jet that breaks the sound barrier and makes a noise like boom – boom breaking glass panes of doors and windows of buildings located in the flight path. Concorde, a supersonic passenger liner built jointly by the United Kingdom and France where the latter had insisted on an additional letter ”e” in the name, was a commercial disaster. The Concorde sang the swan song before making an impact in the domain of non-military air travel. Nevertheless the Military was inalienable hitched to the word : Supersonic” and continued with the research to make the concept better than before.
The Americans were the first to make an indelible mark in the field of making and launching a missile with a nuclear warhead that could travel many times faster than the existing fighter jets and deliver the payload at the desired target before the enemy could even blink or say Jack Robinson. Indeed the Americans made a mark and went ahead of known military powers in the international arena.
The Chinese were watching these developments in the domain of aerial warfare. They vowed to catch up sooner or later. They made it sooner than later. After all the credit for making gunpowder and using it in battle with success goes to the scientist-warriors of the Middle Kingdom or JUNGGWO. So, how could they be left behind in the latest developments in the warfare in the 21st century? With grit and determination the Chinese space scientists and military men were at it until they made the grade.
WHAT HAS CHINA GAINED
Well, international prestige because they are in the same class as the United States of America. The Hypersonic Glide Vehicle is launched atop an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. The Gliding Vehicle is released at an altitude of One Hundred Kilometers. Thereafter it zooms towards the target at about ten times the speed of sound.
The Hypersonic Gliding Vehicle with a nuclear warhead is difficult to detect by an adversary. It is so because its trajectory does not reach the outer space unlike that of the ICBM.
What matters most to the prestige of the Chinese leadership or the Chinese people is that they have not copied or stolen the high technology from their diplomatic adversary, the United States of America. The concept, design, manufacturing, testing and final launch are all done by the Chinese citizens of the People’s Republic of China. The slur word, Chinaman is absolutely out of date.
The Chinese nation is proud of the achievement but not boastful. They are culturally correct. Their specialists have said that they have just begun their journey on the right road leading to their goal. The Chinese acknowledge that the Americans are far ahead of them in this field. Indeed the high tech weapons are America’s speciality. Nevertheless the Chinese nation will be at it and keep moving forward till they achieve the aim of being the best like they were when they invented the gunpowder in the 11th century, just one thousand years ago. The developing nations of Asia may find the Chinese progress in the outer space and in the field of Missiles worth emulating.