05 April 2010

“Chinese Anti-ship Missile Could Alter U.S. Power”

Wendell Minnick, Chinese Anti-ship Missile Could Alter U.S. Power,” Defense News, 5 April 2010, p. 6.

… Debate about the existence of a Chinese ASBM program was recently settled by U.S. Navy Adm. Robert Willard in March 23 testimony to Congress. The leader of U.S. Pacific Command told lawmakers that China is “developing and testing a conventional anti-ship ballistic missile based on the DF-21/CSS-5 MRBM [medium-range ballistic missile] designed specifically to target aircraft carriers” as part of its anti-access, area-denial efforts.

That was the first time a U.S. official had acknowledged China was at “the stage of actual testing,” said Andrew Erickson, a researcher at the China Maritime Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. Such a missile “could change the strategic equation” and “dramatically diminish” America’s power projection, Erickson said.

He said China wants to be able to prevent a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group from intervening in a new Taiwan Strait crisis.

Erickson said a Chinese ASBM would affect U.S. strategy in the region, for even the “likelihood of a capability may have a large deterrent effect.” …

Click here for potential U.S. countermeasures to any ASBMs that China develops.