The DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile was unveiled in September and has the capability to arm a nuclear warhead against an aircraft carrier, according to findings by researcher Andrew Erickson in the Chinese-language China Youth Daily newspaper.
Unlike its predecessor, the shorter-range DF-21D, the new missile allows for nuclear warheads to be mounted on it, which lets China use its limited nuclear potential against both strategic and tactical targets. The missile aims to change the power balance in the South China Sea, according to the newspaper. “That ‘change the warhead, not the missile’ feature provides a rapid switch between nuclear and conventional,” the Chinese article said. Continue reading