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According to Pentagon officials China is preparing for a flight test of a new anti-satellite rocket.
Test preparations for the Dong Neng-3 anti-satellite missile were detected at a military facility in central China, according to Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the impending test. Intelligence agencies were alerted to the impending test by China’s announcement of air closure zones covering the expected flight path of the DN-3.
The flight test could come as early as Thursday, the officials said. No other details of the missile test were available. A Pentagon spokesman and a State Department official both said, “We do not comment on intelligence matters.”
One additional detail: The DN-3 rocket appears to be based on the Chinese commercial rocket Kuiazhou, which a Chinese launch company is pitching to the international market as a vehicle for putting smallsats into orbit.