The Chinese military has deployed its new anti-ship ballistic missile along its southern coast facing Taiwan, the Pentagon’s top military intelligence officer said today.
The missile, designated the DF-21D, is one of a “growing number of conventionally armed” new weapons China is deploying to the region, adding to more than 1,200 short-range missiles opposite the island democracy, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, said in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Flynn’s reference to the DF-21D follows one made by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, in congressional testimony on April 9. He highlighted the “initial deployment of a new anti-ship missile that we believe is designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers.”
Flynn’s brief reference to the DF-21D today is significant because it advances the DIA’s assessment last year, when U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, then the agency’s director, said China’s military is “probably preparing to deploy” the weapon. Continue reading