China reports midcourse ABM test
China reported conducting a successful anti-ballistic missile test on Sunday. A short message by the Defense Ministry said the land-based midcourse interception test achieved all of its objectives.
The statement didn’t disclose much detail about the nature of the test, stating only that it happened at night within Chinese borders and was defensive in nature.
A total of six ABM tests have been disclosed by China since 2010 – all but one of them described as midcourse counteraction. Beijing had announced the previous one in February 2021.
The term “midcourse” means that the missile is engaged after the boost phase, which delivers the intercontinental ballistic missile payload into space, but before the warheads reenter the atmosphere to strike the target in the terminal phase.
The US Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is meant to strike incoming missiles in space, with interceptor silos built in California and Alaska.