China wants War with India (Part 7):
This morning IAF’s Su-30MKI, Apache attack helicopter carried out air operations (exercise?) at a forward airbase in Ladakh.
The geography of Ladakh poses various unformidable challenges for China in its possible confrontation with India. The question however is, can these challenges in flying air assets, due to limited number of airports be offset by use of Missiles?
This can only be ascertained by looking at the arsenal of missiles. A think tank called Missile Threat has listed following missiles in possession of China:
Missile Class Range
YJ-18 Cruise Missile 220-540 km
DF-17 HGV 1,800-2,500 km
DF-12 SRBM 420 km
DF-11 SRBM 280-300 km
DF-26 IRBM 3,000-4,000 km
DF-16 SRBM 800-1,000 km
DF-4 IRBM/ICBM 4,500-5,500 km
DF-15 SRBM 600 km
HN 3 Cruise Missile 3,000 km
HN 2 Cruise Missile 1,400-1,800 km
JL-2 SLBM 8,000-9,000 km
DF-5 ICBM 13,000 km
HN 1 Cruise Missile 50-650 km
DF-31 ICBM 8,000-11,700 km
DF-41 ICBM 12,000-15,000 km
DF-21 MRBM 2,150 km
A missile which can hit a flying object is ballistic missile and almost half of these are listed as ballistic missiles. But China has made the job easy by deciding to deploy HQ9 and HQ 16 surface to Air or SAM missiles at the border, which are not in the above list. A more detailed list of missiles of China is given at this link to wikipedia. HQ-9 has been upgraded hence let’s presume it to be HQ-9A missile:
HQ-9A missile of China:
Tested in 1999 and deployed in 2001. China claim that the HQ-9 family of systems employ much newer computing technology than imported Russian S-300PMU/PMU1/PMU2 systems. For non geeks, the missile cab fired first and radar can compute the target distance and inform the missile which can onboard set course to hit the target. It has a range of 200 Kilometer and its ability to hit moving targets is set at ‘limited‘.
HQ- 19 missile of China:
HQ-19 – A an upgraded version of HQ-9 to counter ballistic missile and satellites (ASAT) on the lower end of Low Earth orbits, and it is the Chinese equivalent of THAAD. HQ-19 is armed with a dual purpose exosphere kinetic kill vehicle (kkv) warhead designed by a team led by Professor Zhou Jun (周军), which can be used against ballistic missile warheads or satellites. Its first flight occurred in 2003; since then, the missile has conducted several other tests, including one on 1 November 2015
HQ-16 missile of China:
Hong Qi-16 is Co-developed by China and Russia, believed to be based on either the Buk missile SA-11 or SA-17. Credited with a range of 40 km. Also known as the HQ-16A is a variant of The Buk missile system (Russian: “Бук”; “beech” (tree), /bʊk/) is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system which is designed in 1979 to counter cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles. It has a range of 42 kilometres with speed of mach 3.
In nut shell these are the missiles which were created in the beginning of cold war era and the technology is sold by Russia to China. This technology may hold good before airplane like Mig 21 but India has junked all those old planes. Will these missiles hold good before Rafale? The moment first missile is fired, the location of missile station is compromised, which can be taken down easily as it is not a very mobile platform. On the contrary this missile is very bulky against the choices of missile with India. We will discuss about those also in this series itself.
Remember that Iran too had deployed a similar air defence called Khordad 15, which could not detect F-35 of Israel which hit it on Friday.
This Friday the stock of one government owned company in India hit 52 week high by gaining about 10% in a single day. It is called Bharat Dynamic Ltd. Guess what it manufactures? We will talk about that tomorrow but do not think that China is in any way week. It has been working on different things and has strengths which make it no less formidable but more about that later.
As regards the Chin’s Hyper-Sonic Missiles, which it tweeted and was ridiculed by USA White House, the same shall be discussed in a separate article about mythical weapons of China.