China's armed forces were ramping up preliminary work on a command center for coordinating operations in space, Kyodo News reported yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 6, 2009).
The country would establish the "air-space operational command center" within the air force "in the near future," Chinese air force sources said.
Beijing intends within the next two decades to develop advanced missile defenses, satellite systems and a new line of fighter jets in an effort to "ensure its superiority in command of the air over China and surrounding areas," one of the sources added.
The disclosures marked the first details to come to light on China's military space program, according to Kyodo. Beijing has maintained that its space operations are civilian in nature.
The United States and Russia each maintain a space command. The U.S. Air Force Space Command plays a role in overseeing the nation's missile defenses and strategic nuclear arsenal (Kyodo News/Breitbart.com, June 15).