China’s military has test-fired its DF-26 intermediate ballistic missile, which reportedly has the capacity to strike moving warships.
The missile is nicknamed the “Guam killer” because US military bases on the Pacific island are within its range.
Chinese state media reported that the tests were conducted in an undisclosed location in China’s north-west.
Beijing announced that it had deployed the missiles to a desert area in that region earlier this month, one day after a US freedom of navigation exercise in a section of the South China Sea that Beijing claims is its territory.
However experts cited by state media tabloid the Global Times said the tests proved the missiles were capable of hitting moving aircraft carriers.
They told the paper that the missile’s “double-cone structure”, as well as the “information network connected to the warhead” — which could include a variety of radar and satellite systems — would allow the moving target’s location to be constantly updated.
China’s Ministry of National Defence has previously said the DF-26 missiles were capable of carrying conventional nuclear warheads.
The missiles are believed to be able to strike targets up to 4,500 kilometres away, putting the Pacific island of Guam in range. The US territory hosts Air Force and Navy bases.
Bates Gill, a professor of Asia Pacific security studies at Macquarie University, said China’s decision to publicise the DF-26 missile test was aimed at creating a deterrent.
“It’s a bit of a warning shot you could say, to remind Americans in particular that China is making these kinds of advancements,” Dr Gill said.
Full article: China tests ‘Guam killer’ missile it says can strike moving warships (ABC.net.au)