Wednesday, June 22, 2005

More Bad News

From the Washington Times today:

China has successfully flight-tested a submarine-launched missile that U.S. officials say marks a major advance in Beijing's long-range nuclear program.

"This is a significant milestone in their effort to develop strategic weapons," said a U.S. official familiar with reports of the test.

U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the flight test of a JL-2 missile about 10 days ago, officials said.

The missile was launched from a Chinese submarine near the port of Qingdao and was tracked to a desert impact point in western China several thousand miles away, the officials said.

The Air Force's National Air Intelligence Center reported that the JL-2 "will, for the first time, allow Chinese [missile submarines] to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast."

The JL-2 is estimated to have a range of up to 6,000 miles, enough to hit targets in the United States.

A defense official said the missile test was a major step forward in China's strategic nuclear missile program and shows an improved capability to produce and launch submarine-launched missiles. "It was a successful test," this official said.

Thanks, X42. The guidance systems YOU helped them get accelerated the program nicely.

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