Author Topic: Chinese sub-orbital launches  (Read 113330 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #140 on: 08/20/2014 07:50 PM »
This article seems appropriate to this thread regarding this recent test.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-secretly-conducts-second-flight-test-of-new-ultra-high-speed-missile/

Be interested to hear whether people agree with its analysis or not as it would be nice too hear a second opinion on the matter.
« Last Edit: 08/20/2014 08:06 PM by Star One »

Offline input~2

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #141 on: 08/21/2014 07:47 AM »
This article seems appropriate to this thread regarding this recent test.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-secretly-conducts-second-flight-test-of-new-ultra-high-speed-missile/

Be interested to hear whether people agree with its analysis or not as it would be nice too hear a second opinion on the matter.
Seasoned Chinese blogger kktt also believes this was the second test flight of WU-14 reentry glide vehicle due to the similarity of the NOTAM with that for the January 9, 2014 event
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/12126421120147113174826/

Offline Star One

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #142 on: 08/21/2014 12:51 PM »

This article seems appropriate to this thread regarding this recent test.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-secretly-conducts-second-flight-test-of-new-ultra-high-speed-missile/

Be interested to hear whether people agree with its analysis or not as it would be nice too hear a second opinion on the matter.
Seasoned Chinese blogger kktt also believes this was the second test flight of WU-14 reentry glide vehicle due to the similarity of the NOTAM with that for the January 9, 2014 event
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/12126421120147113174826/

Thank you for that secondary source.

Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #143 on: 08/21/2014 01:24 PM »
I think there's enough evidence to suggest that China is doing some degree of testing of hypersonics, but beyond that I wouldn't put a lot of faith in the rest of the claims made in the Gertz piece.

Gertz claims that these two tests prove this is a "high priority" system for China and Fisher claims that they pose a "near-term strategic threat" to the US. However, the US has also done multiple tests of hypersonic glide vehicles (as Gertz points out towards the end) yet Prompt Global Strike is far from a top priority of the US and the technology has a long ways to go before it will be militarily useful. Details:
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41464.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersonic_Technology_Vehicle_2

As far as the claim that this test "accelerates China’s development timeline exponentially", I don't think the person cited understands what exponential means. It's also not clear to me what piece of this is related to China's ASAT testing, other than just firing off rockets.

American testing and development of hypersonics and PGS has caused significant concern in Russia and China, but of course the US position is that those technologies don't pose a threat to those countries:
http://carnegieendowment.org/2013/10/04/conventional-prompt-global-strike-and-russia-s-nuclear-forces
http://poniforum.csis.org/blog/blurred-lines-the-threat-of-conventional-prompt-global-strike-to-

Yet then we see in the Gertz piece a quote from Fuell stating that the US has "great concern...if [China] were to apply the same technology and capability with a conventional warhead or even just without a warhead because of the kinetic energy that it has."

I know plenty of smart people on China that have concluded this is largely just China mirroring and hedging - China is interested in this technology because the US is interested in it. It sees the US investing money and effort and so concludes that there must be something of value there.

As is usually the case with China, divining "the truth" in all this can be extremely difficult.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #144 on: 08/21/2014 01:50 PM »
Again thank you for your analysis, that piece I linked to did seem to carry a particular bias in its prospective so I was interested to hear a secondary view on it.
« Last Edit: 08/21/2014 01:51 PM by Star One »

Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #145 on: 08/22/2014 05:04 PM »
Also see this story:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1578756/chinas-second-test-nuclear-armed-hypersonic-glider-fails

I think an interesting question is what rocket they're using for this. I would not be surprised to find that it was a variant of an existing mobile ballistic missile, perhaps even the DF-21.
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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #146 on: 08/22/2014 05:26 PM »
Thanks for the link it looks like they are having as much trouble as the US has had in the past with their various hypersonic tests.

Offline jcm

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #147 on: 08/22/2014 05:51 PM »
Also see this story:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1578756/chinas-second-test-nuclear-armed-hypersonic-glider-fails

I think an interesting question is what rocket they're using for this. I would not be surprised to find that it was a variant of an existing mobile ballistic missile, perhaps even the DF-21.

For a military test I would indeed have expected this.
But the DF-21 is solid propellant, no? This vehicle is clearly N2O4 based, so the suggestion that it is CZ-2C seems reasonable.
Which makes me wonder... perhaps another interpretation is that this is a civilian hypersonic spaceplane-technology
test flight (like the Soviet BOR-5 suborbital mini-shuttle test flights) - that would make more sense with the use of the
space launch vehicle. I'm not saying that this interpretation is *more* likely than the military reentry vehicle one, but we don't know what the Pentagon is basing its analysis on and they are obviously going to lean to the military assumption  if there is any ambiguity. "Wu-14" looks like a US military designation to me (14th kind of launch vehicle from the site that the US military calls Wuzhai), the Chinese bloggers are probably just riffing off Gertz, so I don't think we have any evidence either way for the exact nature of the payload.
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Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #148 on: 08/22/2014 06:01 PM »
I'm not sure if it uses solid or liquid. I know the US version (DARPA's HTV) uses a Minotaur IV as the booster (which is in turn based on the Minuteman ICBM) and I just assumed that China would using something similar considering the very similar flight profile.

Given that the hypersonic technology is "DARPA hard", I'm really skeptical about this being any sort of commercial activity. I haven't seen anything like this from any of the US commercial spacelaunch companies, so it's really hard to imagine it coming from a Chinese company.

Most likely the US assessment is based off the flight profile. It would be pretty easy for them to track the rocket launch and then the hypersonic glide using IR sensors. And that is a very unique profile that sets it apart from space launches as well as ballistic missile tests.
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Offline jcm

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #149 on: 08/22/2014 06:06 PM »
I'm not sure if it uses solid or liquid. I know the US version (DARPA's HTV) uses a Minotaur IV as the booster (which is in turn based on the Minuteman ICBM) and I just assumed that China would using something similar considering the very similar flight profile.

Given that the hypersonic technology is "DARPA hard", I'm really skeptical about this being any sort of commercial activity. I haven't seen anything like this from any of the US commercial spacelaunch companies, so it's really hard to imagine it coming from a Chinese company.

Most likely the US assessment is based off the flight profile. It would be pretty easy for them to track the rocket launch and then the hypersonic glide using IR sensors. And that is a very unique profile that sets it apart from space launches as well as ballistic missile tests.

I wasn't saying commercial, but civil government space, with the glide portion representing a space shuttle reentry - not clear to me that is set apart from the weapon profile.

And DF-21 is solid, AFAIK the only liquid large vehicles in use are the Long March series.
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Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #150 on: 08/22/2014 06:19 PM »
I wasn't saying commercial, but civil government space, with the glide portion representing a space shuttle reentry - not clear to me that is set apart from the weapon profile.

I'm not sure there is such a thing as "civil government spaceflight" in China, but in any case my impression is that this is a noticeably different sort of "glide" from either the Shuttle or something like the X-37B. From what I've been told, it more or less "skips" through the upper atmosphere to try and maintain altitude instead of moving along a smooth, constantly descending glide path. Another clue that they are different is that a re-entry glide is  basically a solved problem whereas this hypersonic glide seems to be very difficult.

But honestly, it's hard to tell for certain given the limited information available.

And DF-21 is solid, AFAIK the only liquid large vehicles in use are the Long March series.

Right - I mentioned the DF-21 because I assumed the Chinese would be using a solid booster for this application like the US is with the Minotaur. Was there a reference to them using a liquid booster somewhere that I missed?
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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #151 on: 08/22/2014 06:24 PM »
Right - I mentioned the DF-21 because I assumed the Chinese would be using a solid booster for this application like the US is with the Minotaur. Was there a reference to them using a liquid booster somewhere that I missed?
Look back at page 9; debris's been found from an apparent suborbital flight of a liquid-fueled booster. This test is the best match.

Offline jcm

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #152 on: 08/22/2014 06:25 PM »


Right - I mentioned the DF-21 because I assumed the Chinese would be using a solid booster for this application like the US is with the Minotaur. Was there a reference to them using a liquid booster somewhere that I missed?

The BFRC   (Big F**g Red Cloud) in the images of the first stage crash site is a clue.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2014 06:26 PM by jcm »
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Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #153 on: 08/22/2014 06:28 PM »
Ok, now I've got it. Somehow I missed that whole post entirely. So yeah, liquid-fueled rocket  :)
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Offline input~2

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #154 on: 08/22/2014 07:04 PM »
Quote
A1445/14- THE FLW SEGMENTS OF ATS RTE CLSD: 1.Y3: TUSLI-DUMIN. 2.W112: ADMUX-TUSLI. 3.L888:TONAX-LEBAK. 4.Y1:MAGOD-N3507.6E10005.6. FL000 - FL999, 23 AUG 02:00 2014 UNTIL 23 AUG 03:00 2014. CREATED: 22 AUG 14:06 2014

Offline Star One

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #155 on: 08/22/2014 07:18 PM »
This article makes it quite clear that the attempted hypersonic launch was military in nature.

http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140822/192253295/Chinas-Hypersonic-Aircraft-Fails-Second-Test-Launch.html
« Last Edit: 08/22/2014 07:20 PM by Star One »

Offline input~2

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #156 on: 08/23/2014 06:53 AM »
This article makes it quite clear that the attempted hypersonic launch was military in nature.

http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140822/192253295/Chinas-Hypersonic-Aircraft-Fails-Second-Test-Launch.html
The original article on the reported WU-14 test failure by the South China Morning Post is at
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1578756/chinas-second-test-nuclear-armed-hypersonic-glider-fails

Offline weedenbc

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #157 on: 09/04/2014 05:56 PM »
A really good open source analysis of this launch (and what a spectacular failure it was) was just posted here:

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/7443/crashing-glider-hidden-hotspring
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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #158 on: 09/04/2014 06:08 PM »

A really good open source analysis of this launch (and what a spectacular failure it was) was just posted here:

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/7443/crashing-glider-hidden-hotspring

Impressive piece of analysis so thanks for posting the link.

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Re: Chinese sub-orbital launches
« Reply #159 on: 09/04/2014 09:28 PM »
A really good open source analysis of this launch (and what a spectacular failure it was) was just posted here:

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/7443/crashing-glider-hidden-hotspring
The implication of booster failure makes no sense at all. All existing long-march series vehicles have almost identical first and second stages, differing only by slight engine variants or tank stretches. But the Chinese performed a launch the day after this test! That's not enough time to even find the cause of a failure, nevermind fix it.

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