Launch May 1995 (successful) AsiaSat II (Martin Marietta)

Specific Technology Transferred Validation of China's solid rocket kick motor. This motor was still in development and had only been tested once before (with the attitude control defective launch of a Pakistani satellite). Given the motor's limited history, the key uncertainty was whether or not it would have sufficient quality and reliability to place the Martin Marietta satellite into its proper orbit. To help assure this, U.S. contractors completed coupled load analysis on kick motor for the Chinese. Contractor and other foreign persons were also allowed to witness Chinese solid rocket satellite kick motor tests. The concem here was that the solid rocket propellant be configured to have exactly the right grain structure and be shaped to produce exactly the right mount of thrust for exactly the right mount of time 1. not to place damaging amounts of force (acceleration and vibration) on the satellite and 2. to propel the satellite precisely as far (but not further) than it needed to go into space. Although U.S. citizens were told not to discuss what they saw with,, the Chinese, it is unclear whether or not foreign staff associated with AsiaSat (who were not bound by U.S. law) were briefed by the contractor or spoke with the Chinese so as to convey solid rocket propulsion know-how.

Military Significance This kick motor's development could help China perfect a post boost vehicle (PBV) to deliver warheads against nations armed with missile defenses. In fact, the Russian SS-25 (a version of which the Chinese are trying to perfect with Russian assistance) uses a solid rocket PBV to help foil possible missile defenses (this by blasting the warhead payload off its predictable ballistic trajectory down through space and the atmosphere). Such kick motors also could be used to help delivery military communication and reconnaissance satellites.

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EXAMPLE OF CHINESE RECENT MARV DEPLOYMENT The above explains the reported MARV (MAaneuvarable Re-entry Vehicle) characteristics shown by the warheads that China shot off the coast of Taiwan in Feb. of 1996. The DF-15 (also known as the M-9 in the export version) launches were observed by Aegis missile cruisers. Previously monitored Chinese launches of the DF-15 noted the warheads were basically unguided during the terminal phase of flight (eg... last few seconds before impact). The warheads used during the 1996 Taiwan crisis were changing directions and speed rapidly, as if practicing to avoid anti-missiles such as the Army Patriot and the US Navy Standard.


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Launches 1996-7 and 1998 (successful) Motorola Iridium (Lockheed)

Specific Technology Transferred Validated Chinese upper stage separation technology, vibrational and load coupling analysis, attitude control, and payload mounting. Two Motorola communication satellites were to be delivered with a kick motor and new satellite dispenser of Chinese design. To assure successful launch, the contractor demanded that the Chinese prove that the Chinese systems would work properly and do the job. Concerns included the properly timed release of the satellites, the mounting of the satellites in the delivery bus (would the two satellites break from their moorings due to improper vibrational and load coupling analysis), would the delivery bus's attitude control be alestabilized by the release of the fast satellite, and would the kick motor generate too little or too much thrust at the wrong time.

Military Significance Helped China master the technology needed to develop its own mukiple independently targetable re, entry vehicles for the new solid rocket intercontinental ballistic missile it is trying to drive from SS-25 missile technology with the Russians.

SOURCE: Beyond The Loral-Hughes Controversy: A Decade of US Satellite Transfers And Their Military Significance, by Henry Sokolski, Executive Director, The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, 1-202-466-4406

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