Why China’s Aircraft Carrier Killer Missile Could Be a Nuclear Weapon in Disguise

My China’s aircraft carrier killer missile could be a nuclear weapon in disguise when would Beijing use it what is the overall strategy for its use in a potential conflict and what are its capabilities countless ink has already been spilled when it comes to China’s first entire ballistic missile a SBM the D F 21 D over the last few years or so back in late 2015 Beijing unveiled a longer range version of the weapon the DF 26 while countless news articles marked the debut of the system specific information on the new weapon was scarce however thanks to the sleuthing skills of US Naval War College Professor Andrew Erickson we now know a little more about the weapon and its possible uses beyond the much-discussed killing of carriers but first a recap of how both the DF 21 d and DF 26 work the missile is launched from a mobile truck-mounted launcher into the atmosphere with over-the-horizon radar satellite tracking impossibly unmanned aerial vehicles providing guidance it also incorporates a maneuverable warhead marked to help find its target and defeat an adversary’s missile defenses such a device could be instrumental in striking a vessel in the open ocean or denying access to a potential opponent in transiting to a conflict zone think Taiwan or in the East and South China Seas so now that we know how the weapon works the next set of questions are obvious when would Beijing use it what is the overall strategy for its use in a potential conflict and what are its capabilities this is where Andrew Erickson’s discovery comes in he has uncovered the only in-depth article that gives at least some hard information concerning the weapon now you can read the whole article here in Mandarin written by Wang chenkin and fenghuang Ming in China youth daily here are five key points from the article worth knowing the translation was also discovered by dr erickson pointone the DF 26 has multiple uses not just killing carriers in contrast with the DF 21 D is the DF 26 is distinct characteristic of being nuclear in conventional all-in-one that is the one missile body can carry a nuclear warhead singular or plural not indicated for a nuclear strike against the enemy or it can carry a conventional warhead singular or plural not indicated for a conventional firepower attack against the enemy that change the warhead not the missile feature provides a rapid switch between nuclear and conventional point two it could help increases the size of China’s nuclear arsenal in the crisis given that China has only a limited number of nuclear weapons and as a medium-range ballistic missile by changing to a nuclear warhead at the last minute at the DF 26 kena’s needed form up a nuclear deterrent and nuclear counter-attack capability linking long and short ranges in strategic and campaign roles point three mobility matters compared with silo launched in site launched ballistic missiles another distinct characteristic of the DF 26 is that it can be launched on the move with no support land-based Mobile launches in the past weather with movement by rail or by Road all required a launch site prepared in advance although movement over a large area could be accomplished before or during a war the destination of the move was always a prepared launch site because prepared launch sites are limited in number and easily exposed destruction of a launch site could result in the bad situation of having missiles but not being able to launch them also that sort of missile requires quite a lot of time to set up and get ready in a prepared launch site which puts it at a great disadvantage against an encroaching enemy with strong mobility in the fast tempo of operation in its combat chain that the DF 26 does not rely on a site for mobile launching it can move fast and it has no strict demands for where it is launched so that is helpful to movement of missile forces all over and in concealment and it is helpful to the rapid deployment rapid launch and rapid displacement of combat elements that means a boost to the missile forces survivability and to its attack ability against time-sensitive targets such as surface ships in particular if the DF 26 can attack at the last minute as soon as information on a ship’s movement is acquired meaning the ship cannot get away point for Beijing wants to use a fence to assist defense and is working towards joint operations with the development of anti identification anti interception and highly integrated technology the mobility the ability to penetrate defences and the precision of strategic campaign and tactical missiles have all improved by way of technical upgrades and merging into integrated joint operations networked information systems the DF 26 is overall tactical and technical performance has continually improved to what can be considered a prized possession which uses offence to assist defence meets challenges point 5 RC battle Jam GC is very much on China’s mind maybe a reason they developed the DF 26 although the United States has repackaged Narsee integrated battle is a joint concept for access and maneuvering the global Commons in order to balance the competing interests of the services we can a hot war flavor lower the risk of clashes and seek extra credit for morality the overall message shows that its original concept and plan based on hot war spit the region and disrupt stability is essentially unchanged on the contrary it has stepped up relevant preparations under the flag of protecting regional security and peace and ensuring that the communal right of navigation is not changed for example the Pentagon is making adjustments which will have 60% of its naval forces including aircraft carriers nuclear submarines cruisers destroyers and coastal warships deployed on the asia-pacific region and bring together sea based our based and space-based forces as Joint Strike task forces it is using political coercion economic enticement and diplomatic pressure to consolidate its existing military alliances and it is using military aid and joint exercises as bribes to get certain countries to become Crace are members of a military ally you …

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