Thu, 11 Aug 2022

Beijing [China], July 14 (ANI): The "world's most far-reaching radar" in the southwestern region of China could also have a military purpose, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing an analyst.

China is currently building a new high-definition deep-space active observation facility in Chongqing Municipality, which has been code-named "China Fuyan," or "Facetted Eye" as it resembles an insect's eye, a Chinese broadcaster reported.

Asian defence analyst Collin Kon said that the radar would generally possess the basic capabilities for space surveillance if it is designed to observe asteroids, adding that it will be able to distinguish objects detected in space and hence track them.

"Where it comes to space, the lines between civilian and military applications can be blurred," he said.

Koh added that if the radar possesses both civilian and military applications, it would not be a surprise due to China's preference for civil-military fusion.

Beijing Institute of Technology (BTI) is leading the program, and China's National Astronomical Observatories under the China Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University and Peking University are also working on the program.

The International Cyber Policy Center of Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a China's Defense Universities Tracker in 2019.

The tracker categorised BTI as "very high risk" and "top secret," with 34 designated defence research areas including missile technology, radar and weapon systems, RFA reported.

The tracker also categorised Tsinghua University as "very high risk" and Peking University as "high risk."Beijing Institute of Technology President Long Teng said that the Fuyan program will have three phases of construction.

The first two radars are expected to become operational by September this year in Chongqing, the article read.

Koh mentioned that the new radar system will affect China-U.S. rivalry in space.

"When we consider the current context, while there's no overt clarion call for China to embark on a space militarisation race with the West, especially the US, since it has a publicly-professed line of not engaging in one, it is nonetheless very much into the game," the analyst said.

"And all the more so, given the broader military rivalry with the U.S., which has extended into cyber and space domains," he added.

A Space Force was established by the US in 2019 after "a widespread recognition that Space was a national security imperative." The Space Force was the first new branch of the armed services in 73 years.

The country has been an active participant in radar development projects.

China's Large Phased Array Radar (LPAR) in Shandong Province can cover Taiwan and all of Japan, a media report said adding that the country has other radar facilities that allow early warning coverage of the Korean Peninsula and India. (ANI)

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