China reportedly testing proprietary QW-12 missile system with anti-decoy capabilities


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By Kris Osborn – President and Editor-in-Chief, Warrior Maven

New Chinese QW-12 mobile air defenses reportedly destroyed helicopters, jets and cruise missiles in a recent live-fire test, a development that would demonstrate a new Chinese tactical and strategic military capability.
Granted, China is known for operating road-mobile air defenses, but the Chinese government-backed Global Times newspaper claims the new QW-12 displayed an anti-decoy capability that “no foreign counterpart has ever shown. “.

It doesn’t seem clear what this claim means, or if it is in fact true, but the Chinese newspaper article clearly alludes to targeting technology that can “discern” or “discriminate” decoys from real targets. and in fact to “counter” the countermeasures.

QW-12 missile

“The QW-12 missile successfully shot down a target aircraft specially designed to simulate an attack helicopter by mimicking its infrared signal,” writes the Global Times.

“As the QW-12 missile approached, the aircraft launched eight decoy flares that resemble the target aircraft’s infrared signal in an attempt to disorient the missile. However, the missile ignored the flares and hit the plane.

A portable QW-12 was tested against a target aircraft simulating an attack helicopter in northern China in early 2022.

What kind of insightful search technology could this be? Probably very little is known about it, but the claim that it has no equivalent in the world might be an ambitious characterization.

The United States, for example, has for many years been developing seeker technology capable of tracking and discerning multiple moving targets at once. Details related to how it works or the specifics of technology it entails are probably not available for security reasons, but discriminating seeker technology is advancing very rapidly in the US missile defense sphere.

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Advanced search technology capable of distinguishing decoys from missiles and real threats has been at the center of US missile defense for many years now, and massive progress has been reported in the design of search technology capable of to make key in-flight distinctions and adapt accordingly. identify the exact target.

The Chinese report then goes a step further and states that the QW-12 was also capable of tracking and destroying a 122 millimeter caliber rocket “simulating a jet or a cruise missile that flies at 360 meters per second”, writes the newspaper.

patriot missile

patriot missile

patriot missile

This technological capability cited in the Chinese document also reflects recent US advances in air and cruise missile defense. The US Army’s Patriot missile, for example, demonstrated an advanced and highly sensitive target-tracking radar capable of finding, distinguishing and destroying multiple approaching cruise missiles with high accuracy.

Interestingly, the Chinese newspaper reports that the new interceptor used a “laser proximity detonator” to explode near the target, knocking it down with “shockwaves and fragments”. A proximity detonation was necessary due to the high velocities of the rocket target. Proximity Fusion is another technology that has now evolved well with the US military in offensive and defensive operations.

Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, President of Warrior Maven

Kris Osborn, President of Warrior Maven – Center for Military Modernization


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