03 March 2010

“US Believes China is Poised to Field Ballistic Anti-Ship Missile”

Richard Scott, US Believes China is Poised to Field Ballistic Anti-Ship Missile,” International Defence Review, International Defence Digest, 2 March 2010, www.janes.com.

•           Land-based DF-21D has potential to reach ranges of around 1,500 km

•           Chinese ASBM could be used to engage manoeuvring ships at extended ranges …

One assessment from the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, published by the US Naval Institute (USNI) in 2007, is that land-based conventionally-tipped ballistic missiles with MaRV warheads would be “a Chinese ‘assassin’s mace’ sort of a capability – something impossible to deal with today, and very difficult under any circumstances if one is forced to defeat it by shooting down ballistic missiles.”

It further noted that such a capability hinged on China’s capability “to put together the appropriate space-based surveillance, command and targeting architecture necessary to make this work.” …

Writing in the February edition of USNI’s Proceedings magazine, Dr Andrew Erickson, associate professor of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the US Naval War College’s strategic research department, said “the Chinese appear to be intent on fielding a system that directly threatens US carriers.” He added: “Only through serious investment in counter-targeting efforts and other countermeasures can we prevent Beijing from changing the game uncontested.”