Chinese Scientists Unveil Hypersonic Interception Radar in Response to U.S. Guam Test

Recently, according to the well-known Hong Kong international media “South China Morning Post,” Chinese scientists have showcased a new type of interception radar technology in a published paper. This radar can track 10 hypersonic missiles flying at Mach 20 with unprecedented accuracy and can identify decoys.

By integrating laser technology into the radar system, the information transmission speed reaches the speed of light, thereby enhancing the complexity and measurement accuracy of radar signals. The related paper, peer-reviewed, was published in the journal “Optical Communication Technology” in late May.

Observers note that this may be a response to the U.S. hypersonic weapons test near Guam in March of this year.

Revolutionary Innovation in Microwave-Optoelectronic Fusion Radar

In the global military technology race, Chinese scientists have once again achieved a significant breakthrough. A project team led by Professor Zheng Xiaoping from the Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University developed a new microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar capable of tracking up to 10 hypersonic missiles flying at Mach 20. This achievement not only improves radar system accuracy but also can identify false targets, significantly enhancing China’s air defense capabilities.

By incorporating laser technology into the radar system, Professor Zheng’s team achieved light-speed information transmission. This innovation allows the radar system to generate and process more complex microwave signals than before, achieving precise measurements of ultra-fast objects for the first time.

In ground simulation tests, this new radar had an error margin of only 28 centimeters (11 inches) when estimating the distance of missiles flying at 7 kilometers per second (4.3 miles per second) and an accuracy of 99.7% when estimating missile speed.

Such precision was previously thought to be impossible, but by adopting laser technology, Professor Zheng’s team enabled electronic movements at extremely high speeds, avoiding circuit board burnout risks and allowing the radar system to measure high-speed objects accurately.

This radar system has a detection range of over 600 kilometers. Professor Zheng and his collaborators from Guangxi University noted in a peer-reviewed paper published on May 24 in the Chinese journal “Optical Communication Technology.”

Hypersonic weapons, due to their extremely high speeds and unpredictable maneuvers, are challenging for traditional air defense systems to intercept effectively. Intercepting hypersonic weapons requires new types of intercept missiles and laser weapons and radar systems with extremely high precision in target position and speed parameters. The new microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar developed by Professor Zheng’s team emerged in this context.

To close the gap with China in hypersonic weapons, the U.S. tested an air-launched hypersonic missile near Guam in the Western Pacific in March. Some Western military observers believe this was the U.S. military demonstrating its capability to use high-penetration weapons to attack Chinese coastal cities.

By using laser technology, Professor Zheng’s team enabled the radar to simultaneously send three different frequency bands of microwaves, improving detection accuracy. They also developed an algorithm that completely eliminates false target interference by comparing signals of different frequencies.

Through these technological innovations, the team established a complete radar system, including chips and transmitters, and validated its performance in the laboratory using instruments simulating hypersonic target movements.

This compact and lightweight microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar system is suitable for installation on air defense missiles or aircraft and is considered by some military experts as a key technology for next-generation fire control radar. In the future, this radar system will provide significant support for the upgrade of China’s air defense technology.

Led by Professor Zheng Xiaoping, the team’s innovation adds an important weight to China’s defense technology. As hypersonic weapons continue to develop, effectively intercepting these fast and maneuverable targets becomes a major challenge for all countries. The breakthroughs by Chinese scientists in this field will greatly enhance the nation’s air defense capabilities and place it in an advantageous position in future technology competitions.

The Future of Hypersonic Weapon Interception: Challenges and Opportunities

With the continuous development of hypersonic weapons, effectively intercepting these fast and maneuverable targets becomes a significant challenge for all countries. The breakthroughs by Chinese scientists in microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar technology provide necessary support for the future interception of hypersonic weapons.

Hypersonic weapons, due to their extremely high speeds and complex maneuvers, are challenging for traditional air defense systems to intercept effectively. Precise fire control radar is crucial for the successful interception of hypersonic missiles.

According to a report released last year by the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), one of the biggest challenges the Pentagon faces is obtaining fire control radar capable of highly accurate tracking of hypersonic targets for intercept missile systems. More precise data means interceptors can be used without excessive maneuvering, reducing the cost of interceptors.

The new radar system developed by Professor Zheng Xiaoping’s team, using laser technology and multi-frequency microwaves, greatly improves detection accuracy and develops algorithms that eliminate false target interference. These technological innovations will provide essential support for future hypersonic weapon interception.

The team validated the radar system’s performance in the laboratory by simulating hypersonic target movements, proving its potential in combat.

The compact and lightweight characteristics of the new radar system make it suitable for installation on air defense missiles or aircraft and are considered by some military experts as key technology for next-generation fire control radar. This not only enhances China’s air defense capabilities but also provides more possibilities for future air defense technology upgrades. The research results of Professor Zheng’s team have attracted widespread attention domestically and internationally in the military technology community.

To close the gap with China in hypersonic weapons, the U.S. tested an air-launched hypersonic missile near Guam in the Western Pacific in March. This was also the final test of the U.S. AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) project, following multiple failures and delays.

The ARRW project is one of the U.S. Air Force’s two major hypersonic weapons development projects, aiming to develop an air-launched hypersonic weapon capable of flying at speeds over Mach 5 and high maneuverability.

However, the project encountered some challenges during testing, leading the U.S. Air Force to decide not to request procurement funds for ARRW in the 2025 fiscal year. Despite this, manufacturer Lockheed Martin remains “confident” in ARRW’s technology, stating that it can quickly deliver more hypersonic strike weapons.

Some Western military observers believe this was the U.S. military demonstrating its capability to “threaten” Chinese coastal cities with high-penetration weapons. In this international situation, China’s innovation in air defense technology becomes particularly important.

The development of hypersonic weapons presents unprecedented challenges for traditional air defense systems. These weapons are not only fast but can also perform complex evasive maneuvers, making interception more difficult.

In theory, new intercept missiles and laser weapons have the potential to destroy incoming hypersonic weapons, but they must have extremely precise target position and speed parameters. The new microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar system developed by Professor Zheng’s team, with its high detection accuracy, provides a solid foundation for successfully intercepting hypersonic weapons.

In the future, hypersonic weapon interception technology will continue to develop. In addition to radar system innovations, other technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data analysis will also be applied to air defense systems to improve interception efficiency and accuracy.

China’s continuous investment and innovation in this field will ensure it maintains a leading position in the global military technology competition.

Brief Summary

Chinese scientists’ breakthroughs in microwave-optoelectronic fusion radar technology not only enhance the nation’s air defense capabilities but also provide new directions for future defense technology development.

As hypersonic weapons continue to evolve, effectively intercepting these targets becomes a significant challenge for all countries. Chinese scientists’ innovations in this field will greatly enhance the nation’s defense capabilities and place it in an advantageous position in future technology competitions. We look forward to more similar technological innovations, contributing to national security and world peace.

Through the efforts of Professor Zheng Xiaoping and his team, China has made significant progress in hypersonic weapon defense technology, demonstrating China’s strength and determination in the global military technology race. This breakthrough not only enhances China’s air defense capabilities but also provides a solid foundation for future military technology development.

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