London: China is reportedly developing a new missile designed to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier from a distance of more than 900 miles.
American experts believe that the weapon-‘Dong Feng 21D’, a version of which was displayed last year in a Chinese military parade, could revolutionize China’s role in the Pacific balance of power, weakening Washington’s ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea.
When complete it would give China the ability to reach and hit the enemy country’s aircraft carriers well before they can get close enough to the mainland to hit back.
“The emerging Chinese anti-ship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post-Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval power projection -- and deliberately designed for that purpose,” Fox News quoted Patrick Cronin, Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security.
However, another expert said that the missile is ‘no game-changer, nor a revolutionary threat’.
“Some have called it a game-changer. I would dispute that claim,” said Toshi Yoshihara, Associate Professor at the US Naval War College.
He claims that China would need to rely on a range of technologies to track boats and guide the warhead to a moving target like a carrier.
“There would be several layers of sensors, including over-the-horizon radar, which would help track surface units. They also have airborne sensors to look out into the Pacific, as well as space-based satellites to track a strike group,” Yoshihara said.
“Besides, we’re talking about a warhead falling onto the earth at 10 times the speed of sound. How do you guide it in pinpoint fashion?” he added.
Details of the missile are still unknown, and China is yet to test the system.