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April 04, 2009

Magic Missile

Strategy Page argues alarm at the news of a Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile is unwarranted (hat tip to Mr. Salmon). Though I suspect the Chinese are more than capable of emulating a '70s era American missile guidance system so your mileage may vary.

In what has become an annual event over the last few years, there are another batch of rumors out of China that the DF-21 ballistic missile has been equipped with a high-explosive warhead and a guidance system that can find and hit a aircraft carrier at sea.
The Chinese have long been rumored to have a system like this, but there have been no tests. If the Chinese do succeed in creating a "carrier killer" version of the DF-21, the U.S. Navy can modify its Aegis anti-missile system to protect carriers against such attacks. There are also electronic warfare options, to blind the DF-21 radar. Another problem the Chinese will have is getting a general idea of where the target carrier is before they launch the DF-21. This is not impossible, but can be difficult.

Related: "Just 18 Navy ships have the ability to destroy a ballistic missile hurtling through the air at thousands of miles per hour."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 4, 2009 06:37 AM


The Aegis Anti-Ballistic Missle program is anything but "unproven technology".

Thank You Skunk Baxter!

Posted by: fretless [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2009 12:01 PM

And China has 5 (soon to be 7) SSNs and 54 SSKs with which to hunt down those 18 SM-3 equipped CG/DDGs that may one day lurk offshore. Roughly 3 subs per ship.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2009 05:22 PM

Then again, if you were Chinese, do you know of a better way to get the US Navy to voluntarily place their assets where you want them than to announce something like this?

At the very least you tie up one each of the 18 SM/3 equipped ships for each of the 11 Carrier Battle groups, possibly 2 for the forward deployed group in Japan.

Posted by: dpatten [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2009 08:42 PM