China had conducted two anti-satellite tests recently with its new laser technology, Konstantin Sivkov, the first deputy head of the Moscow-based Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told the Voice of Russia on Nov. 6.
Sivkov said that several exercises against tank and unmanned aerial vehicles had been launched by the PLA with its new laser weapons. The China Academy of Engineering Physics’ low-altitude air defense system designed to intercept aircraft below 500 meters was used in several drills against drones.
Yi Jinsong from the China Academy of Engineering Physics told the Beijing-based Sina Military Network that unmanned aerial vehicles can be operated by terrorists against the Chinese homeland.
The PLA carried out two anti-satellite exercises with its laser weapon system as well, Sivkov also said, adding that it is crucial for China to destroy US satellites at the beginning of a conflict, should one arise. By shooting down US satellites, the PLA will be capable of blinding American air, ground and naval forces on the battlefield.
After China tested its anti-satellite weapon for the first time in 2007, US satellites have been periodically disturbed by the Chinese laser weapon several times in orbit, the Defense News reported.
A source from the US government told the Defense News that Washington decided to keep quiet regarding the those events because Beijing is an important trade partner. At the same time, the US needs China to seek a peaceful solution on the Korean peninsula. Realizing that lasers are capable of destroying every advanced weapon systems, including aircraft carriers, China has invested huge sums in the development of such weaponry since the 1960s.
During an exercise held in 2009, the PLA successfully destroyed incoming rockets with a laser cannon. After the Shenguang 1 and Shenguang 2, the China Academy of Engineering Physics put the Shenguang 3 high-energy research center in service at Sichuan province located in southwestern China.
Once the project is completed, it will help the PLA to speed up and promote the development of its future laser weaponry.