Monday, January 15, 2024

Can You Out Russia Russia?

 Report from 1/8/24 Newsweek:

Chinese officials filled missiles with water instead of rocket fuel in one example of pervasive corruption, according to a report on U.S. intelligence assessments of China's military.

Sources familiar with these intelligence assessments, quoted by Bloomberg, said Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent extensive military purge was prompted by alarming levels of corruption within the nation's defense infrastructure.

Widespread corruption had jeopardized President Xi's ambitious plans to modernize China's armed forces, the sources were quoted as saying. This revelation had led US officials to believe that President Xi is now less likely to consider major military actions in the foreseeable future.

One of the YouTube channels pointed out that liquid rockets are not normally kept loaded.  The most plausible explanation is that the fuel tanks, which are used to fill before launch were filled with water.  This raises more questions: What liquid fuel?  Titan IIs used red fuming nitric acid (which is as nasty as it sounds) and hydrazine.  Both are liquid at room temperatures.  Some crooked general could have sold the actual fuel to a black market chemical dealer and filled the tanks with water.  

1. Is there no central source for the fuel?  Would the central government give local generals authority to buy where they wished?

2. Why does China have liquid-fueled ICBMs?  The U.S. switched to solid fuel rockets the Atlas rockets were slow to fuel and launch.  The Titans were hard to maintain.  You may aware of an accident that started with a dropped wrench and ended with a 9 Mt hydrogen bomb being thrown close to a mile away.  These would be first-strike weapons.  If things got hot, these would be our first targets.

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