China’s asymmetric capabilities have the potential to lessen US military advantage
BEIJING: Over a decade ago the Federation of American Scientists described the Chinese missile program as a pocket of excellence in an otherwise problematic indigenous military industry. In 2010 the Chinese military was reported to have started tests on its most ambitious missile project, the DF-21A, an anti-ship ballistic missile. In early 2013 several reports claimed that the missile had begun to be deployed in small numbers in Southern China. The DF-21A is reportedly designed to be an aircraft carrier killer aimed at deterring US aircraft-carrier battle groups from interfering in case of conflict over Taiwan and other flashpoints like the South China Sea.
China’s decision to use ballistic missiles for anti-ship warfare is unusual considering that targeting moving ships with a missile on a ballistic trajectory is much harder and requires more sophisticated navigation than cruise missiles. The People’s Liberation Army decision to opt for an anti-ship ballistic missile, or ASBM, reflects the growing confidence and sophistication of its military industries. Continue reading