China Advancing Laser Weapons Program
Technology Equals or Surpasses U.S. Capability
Not only is the Chinese military advancing rapidly in the field of anti-satellite, anti-missile laser weapon technology, but its technology equals or surpasses U.S. laser weapons capabilities currently under development, informed sources have told WorldNetDaily.
According to Mark Stokes, a military author specializing in Chinese weapons development, Beijing's efforts to harness laser weapons technology began in the 1960s, under a program called Project 640-3, sanctioned by Chairman Mao Zedong. The Chinese, he said, renamed the project the "863 Program" in 1979, after a Chinese researcher named Sun Wanlin convinced the Central Military Commission "to maintain the pace and even raise the priority of laser development" in 1979.
Today, Beijing's effort to develop laser technology encompasses over "10,000 personnel -- including 3,000 engineers in 300 scientific research organizations -- with nearly 40 percent of China's laser research and development (R & D) devoted to military applications," Stokes wrote in an analytical paper provided to WorldNetDaily.
China's "DEW (Directed Energy Weapons) research (is) part of a larger class of weapons known to the Chinese as 'new concept weapons' (xin gainian wuqi), which include high power lasers, high power microwaves, railguns, coil guns, (and) particle beam weapons," Stokes said. "The two most important organizations involved in R&D of DEW are the China Academy of Sciences and the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND)."
To underscore Beijing's fixation with laser weaponry, the Hong Kong Standard reported Nov. 15 that the Chinese have developed a laser-based anti-missile, anti-satellite system.
"China's system shoots a laser beam that destroys the [guidance systems] and causes the projectile to fall harmlessly to the ground," the paper said...
"The Clinton administration allowed the export of advanced radiation-hardened microchip technology, vital electronic components for military satellites and nuclear weapons, to Russia and China," Smith wrote. The technology allowed China to build air-defense laser systems powerful enough to deliver an "estimated...10,000 watts of output power on a target up to 500 miles away." Smith said the Chinese are preparing to deploy "an even more powerful ground-based laser by the year 2000."
The Pentagon declined to comment on current Chinese laser weapons development, but most experts who spoke with WorldNetDaily believe the Chinese have obtained advanced laser technology from multiple sources. They also believe Beijing is involved in an ongoing plan to "acquire" new laser weapons technologies either by producing them domestically, buying them or through espionage.
William Triplett II, co-author of the Chinese espionage bestseller, "Year of the Rat," and a new book detailing Chinese military prowess called "Red Dragon Rising," said he believed Beijing may have stolen some U.S. ASAT and laser technology, but indicated that in the end that may prove to be a small part of their developmental process.
"Right now the Chinese are in the cat-bird seat," he said. "They have holes in their capabilities, but they have access to cutting-edge military technology from both Russia and the U.S. What they couldn't get from us they have bought from Moscow."