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‘China’s new radar can track 10 hypersonic missiles at Mach 20’ – Times of India

World'China's new radar can track 10 hypersonic missiles at Mach 20’ - Times of India

Chinese scientists have announced a significant advancement in radar technology that could escalate the global race for hypersonic weapons. A team led by Professor Zheng Xiaoping from Tsinghua University’s department of electronic engineering has developed a radar system capable of tracking 10 incoming hypersonic missiles traveling at Mach 20 with remarkable precision.This technology also has the capability to identify false targets.
During ground-based simulations, the radar demonstrated an error margin of just 28 centimeters (11 inches) when estimating the distance of a missile traveling at nearly 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) per second. Additionally, the system was 99.7 percent accurate in estimating the missile’s speed, a feat previously deemed impossible, a South China Morning Post report said.
Generating and analyzing radar signals with such precision requires electrons to move at extremely high speeds, which can potentially damage circuit boards. Zheng’s team overcame this challenge by incorporating lasers into the radar system, allowing information to be transmitted between key nodes at the speed of light. This innovation enables the generation and processing of much more complex microwave signals, allowing for the precise measurement of ultra-high-speed objects for the first time.
The new microwave photonic radar boasts a detection range of over 600 kilometers. It is small and light, making it suitable for mounting on air-defense missiles or aircraft. Military experts consider this technology to be crucial for the next generation of fire-control radars.
The United States, striving to close the gap with China in hypersonic weapons, tested an air-launched hypersonic missile on Guam in March. This test was seen by some Western military observers as a direct response to China, demonstrating the US military’s capability to strike Chinese coastal cities with high-penetration weapons.
Hypersonic weapons present a significant challenge for interception compared to traditional ballistic missiles due to their higher speed and unpredictable maneuvers, which allow them to penetrate air-defense networks. While new interceptor missiles and laser weapons have the potential to neutralize incoming hypersonic threats, they require precise target position and velocity data to be effective.
A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) highlighted the difficulty the Pentagon faces in obtaining a fire-control radar capable of tracking hypersonic targets with high precision for interceptor missile systems. “If you have more precise data, you could use an interceptor that maybe wouldn’t need to maneuver as much, and could be cheaper,” said Masao Dahlgren, the report’s author with the CSIS Missile Defense Project.
One of the challenges with high-speed moving targets is the appearance of phantom images on radar screens, where false targets often outnumber real ones. Zheng’s team addressed this by using laser technology to send three different bands of microwaves simultaneously, improving detection accuracy. They also developed an algorithm that eliminates false target interference by comparing signals of different frequencies, the SCMP report said.
Zheng and his team have built a complete radar system, including chips and transmitters, and verified its performance in a laboratory using instruments that simulate the movement of hypersonic targets in the atmosphere.

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