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Missile being launched from a submarine  (Source: Daily Mail)
Experts believe it could be years before the missiles are fully operational

There are potential future hot spots for military conflict all over the world, with China being high on the list. Since the days of WWII, the U.S. Navy has had the clear superiority in surface ship warfare in the waters in and around China, but the Chinese have a new missile system that could cause the U.S. to rethink its plans for any future conflicts in the area.

Newsroom America
 reports that China has a new missile known as the DF-21 that has reached its "initial operational capability" (IOC). The IOC milestone for the Chinese weapon system means that the design has been settled on but the system will continue to be refined according to military experts.

Admiral Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, "An analogy using a Western term would be 'initial operational capability (IOC),' whereby I think China would perceive that it has an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it. I would gauge it as about the equivalent of a U.S. system that has achieved IOC."

The missile can be launched from land and is capable of striking surface vessels that are moving, with enough force to destroy a U.S. supercarrier with one hit. 

A U.S. Naval Institute report from last year said of the missile system, "The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel."

The missile is launched from land, soars into the atmosphere, and then uses a complex guidance system combined with maneuverability and a low radar signature to evade defensive weapons and hit moving targets. So far, the U.S. has not detected over-the-surface tests of the missile on moving targets.

Despite the continued growth of the Chinese military and the new weapons system, 
DailyMail reports that the Chinese military still maintains that it is no threat to countries in its region. The missile would be guided by an interwoven system of UAVs, submarines, and satellites to its target.

Chinese military spokesperson Jiang Wu said, "I can say that China pursues a defensive national policy. ... We pose no threat to other countries. We will always be a force in safeguarding regional peace and stability."



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RE: History repeating
By FITCamaro on 12/29/2010 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 1
If a cruise missile can fly into the window of a building, I think hitting a several hundred foot long ship shouldn't pose much of a problem.


RE: History repeating
By eggman on 12/29/2010 3:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
A cruise missile is flying with relatively large control surfaces at sub sonic speeds into that stationary window. That is a far cry from 15,000 mph with tiny little wiglets trying to hit a moving target.


RE: History repeating
By ekv on 12/30/2010 3:07:41 AM , Rating: 2
15,000 mph?! Not hardly. Where did you read that?


RE: History repeating
By HyperTension on 12/29/2010 3:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Not so simple. The easiest explanation (not to be condescending) is the premise that a building is stationary, and doesn't have any defensive capability outside of the engineering of said structure. Heck, if the GPS in my phone states that it has an accuracy with a lock of 9-11 satellites to 3-4 meters, I'm pretty sure we have the software / hardware to utilize even greater accuracy.

Nimitz class aircraft carriers have an official rated speed of 30+ knots (approx 35Mph). I can assure you that said ship can maintain speeds in excess of that (45mph+). Now add multiple layers of defensive capability and things get a bit more complicated.

A multi-mach inbound will decrease the targets reaction time just by that premise alone. Add an alleged stealth capability along with said projective having a degree of defensive maneuvering, things may get a bit more "interesting" Now add other variables that act as a feint / distraction, or even legitimate threats....

Warfare (just like almost everything else in life) is a constant state of evolution. When a nation / military / commander does not heed this, you are virtually condemned to failure if an engagement occurs. It's multi-dimensional, dynamic and progressive thought process and action. If only life could be as simple as so many others think that it should be.


RE: History repeating
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/29/2010 4:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
What I'm curious about is what the effective range is on one of these missiles. Would an AEGIS Cruiser or Destroyer equipped with Interceptors capable of shooting down ICBM's be effective at blasting such a missile out of the sky during its boost and orbital entry phases?


RE: History repeating
By ekv on 12/30/2010 3:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Amongst others ...
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/china/df-2...
Call it about 1100 mi.

Several variants of DF-21 exist. Fixed site and mobile launchers. AEGIS SM-3's could certainly stand a chance at shooting it down in boost phase. Of course, how close do you have to be in order to do that? 8)


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