17 August 2010

ASBM-Relevant Content from 2010 U.S. Department of Defense Report on China’s Military

“Augmented by direct acquisition of foreign weapons and technology, [defense industry] reforms have enabled China to develop and produce advanced weapon systems that incorporate mid-1990s technology in many areas, and some systems—particularly ballistic missiles—that rival any in the world today.” (p. 43)

“Production trends and resource allocation appear to favor missile and space systems….” (p. 44).

“China has the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile program in the world. It is developing and testing several new classes.” (p. 1)

“China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) based on a variant of the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). The missile has a range in excess of 1,500 km, is armed with a maneuverable warhead, and when integrated with appropriate command and control systems, is intended to provide the PLA the capability to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean.” (p. 2)

“The PLA is acquiring conventional MRBMs to increase the range at which it can conduct precision strikes against land targets and naval ships, including aircraft carriers, operating far from China’s shores out to the first island chain.” (p. 31)

“The PLA Navy is improving its over-the-horizon (OTH) targeting capability with Sky Wave and Surface Wave OTH radars. OTH radars could be used in conjunction with imagery satellites to assist in locating targets at great distances from PRC shores to support long range precision strikes, including by anti-ship ballistic missiles.” (p. 2)

“Over the long term, improvements in China’s C4ISR, including space-based and over-the-horizon sensors, could enable Beijing to identify, track, and target military activities deep into the western Pacific Ocean.” (p. 37)

Click here for the latest analysis and sources on Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) development and testing.

A full-text copy of “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2010” is available here.