China’s rapidly expanding satellite programme could alter power dynamics in Asia and reduce the US military’s scope for operations in the region, according to new research.
Chinese reconnaissance satellites can now monitor targets for up to six hours a day, the World Security Institute, a Washington think-tank, has concluded in a new report. The People’s Liberation Army, which could only manage three hours of daily coverage just 18 months ago, is now nearly on a par with the US military in its ability to monitor fixed targets, according to the findings.
So is this cause for concern? Only if the United States and its allies are doing things we don’t want China to observe with an unblinking eye up to six hours per day.
Of course China may not be able to monitor in all the spectrums they’d like and their sensors may not be as precise, but if the report is accurate, if nothing else it’s demonstrated a Chinese break-out space capability. A 100 percent improvement in 18 months is impressive. And remember quantity has a quality all its own.
When China gets their heavy-lift space launch vehicle going, things are likely to change to their benefit even more.
(IMAGE SOURCE PAGE: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/space-adventures/2)