Military fans wonder: Is China’s new QW-12 air defense system truly unparalleled?

2022-06-08 0 By

The National Interest, February 15, 2022 Chris Osborne reports that China’s new “world-class” system has advanced anti-decoy capabilities.Beijing: China’s new QW-12 mobile air defence system reportedly destroyed helicopters, jets and cruise missiles in a recent test, a development that could demonstrate new tactical and strategic capabilities.China is already known to operate a road mobile air defence system, but the Global Times claimed that the QW-12 demonstrated anti-decoy capabilities that “have not been demonstrated by any foreign counterparts”.It’s unclear exactly what this statement means, or whether it’s actually true, but the Global Times report suggests that targeting technology that can distinguish decoys from actual targets actually allows the QW-12 to “counter” countermeasures.”The QW-12 missile successfully shot down a specially designed target aircraft built to simulate an attack helicopter by mimicking its infrared signal,” the Global Times said.According to the report, “As the QW-12 missile approached, the aircraft released eight decoy flares, similar to the infrared signal of the target aircraft, in an attempt to disorient the missile.However, the missile ignored these flares and struck the aircraft.What kind of anti-decoy technology would that be?Little is known about the technology, but to claim it has no equivalent anywhere in the world is probably an ambitious description.The United States, for example, has been developing homing technology to track and identify several moving targets at the same time.Advanced homing technology has been a focus of U.S. missile defense efforts for years, and the United States is reportedly making progress in engineering homing technology that can make critical distinctions in flight and adjust accordingly.However, the Chinese report goes further, saying the QW-12 is also capable of tracking and destroying a 122mm calibre rocket that “simulates a jet or a cruise missile flying at 360 metres per second”.This technological capability also responds to recent ADVANCES in missile defense by the United States.The U.S. Army’s Patriot system, for example, has a highly sensitive radar that can detect, distinguish and destroy several incoming cruise missiles with great accuracy.Interestingly, the Global Times said the new interceptor uses a “laser close-range detonator” to destroy targets and shoot them down with “shockwaves and debris.”Because of the high speed of the rocket target, such close proximity is required to detonate.The proximity fuze is another technology that the U.S. military is also making progress on.