ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future.
Asked what Chinese weapons systems he is most concerned about if the United States went to war with China, Greenert noted Beijing’s growing arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles.
“They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed,” Greenert told the Aspen Security Forum.
If the conflict were close to China, the missile forces would pose the most serious threat, he said.
“If it’s in their backyard, I’m a little worried about their ballistic missile [force] because of its reach,” Greenert said.
China has developed several types of advanced missile systems, including a unique DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile that is intended to strike U.S. aircraft carriers hundreds of miles from China’s coast.
The DF-21D has been described as a “carrier killer” for which the U.S. Navy has few defenses. Greenert has said earlier that U.S. defenses against the DF-21D would involve breaking the weapons’ “kill chain—the network of sensors and communications links used to guide the missile to its target.
The Pentagon stated in its latest annual report to Congress that the DF-21D “gives the [People’s Liberation Army] the capability to attack large ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean.
The missile has a range of more than 930 miles and is armed with a maneuverable warhead.
Another major threat in a future conflict is China’s new guided missile destroyer, the Type 052D that the Pentagon says has deployed the PLA’s first multipurpose vertical launch system that is believed “capable of launching [anti-ship cruise missiles], land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs), surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and anti-submarine missiles.” More than a dozen Type 052 destroyers are planned.
China’s H-6 bomber also has been upgraded to carry six land-attack cruise missiles with precision guidance capabilities.
Full article: Chinese Missile Forces Pose Threat to U.S. in Future Conflict (Washington Free Beacon)