By Jim Emerson, staff writer
Adm. Robert Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that China is deploying its new Dong Feng-21D anti-ship ballistic missile they publicly claim can sink U.S. aircraft carriers. The Admiral stated “this kind of capability should be a concern to the region, and it poses a challenge to any naval or air operations that would be conducted in that area were it to be employed.”
What is a Dong Feng-21D?
The Dong Feng-21D is a land-based guided missile that launches it war-head into space and returns it to earth at ten times the speed of sound while maneuvering to strike a moving target. Updates and tracking will be provided by satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and radar all linked by a communications network, most likely, provided by military satellites.
Since the targets will be out of sight of ground base units it would have to be dependent on air and space borne communication assets in order to operate. China learned a lot from all of those cell phone and internet projects we outsourced to them.
Is it ready?
Admiral Willard further states “The anti-ship ballistic missile system in China has undergone extensive testing. An analogy using a Western term would be “initial operational capability,” whereby it has—I think China would perceive that it has–an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it.”
The missile has been deployed to China’s Second Artillery Corps. In preliminary lab tests the Chinese believe the system is operational, but there is no evidence they have ever tested the system to see if it really works! What the Chinese are doing is sending out word of the missile with plans to develop the system as they go. In layman’s terms it can be described as “putting the cart before the horse.”
Such a revelation has been called a “game-changer” by defense analysts and would force carrier task forces to stay further away from allied nations thus canceling out America’s ability to protect our friends. The Chinese have aggressively built up their anti-access/area denial program (a shield designed to deny access to anyone within China’s area of influence) which covers Korea, Taiwan, Japan, South East Asia and adjacent sea lanes.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that the Dong Feng-21D will affect Naval and Air operations in the region. This news exposes America’s weakness to deal with this missile. It shows America doesn’t have enough Aegis-equipped and ballistic missile defense warships to deal with this carrier-killer if our Navy is sent to the defense of South Korea or Taiwan.
What’s in it for China?
China wants to be the undisputed superpower of East Asia. She wants to control all territories and sea lanes in the western Pacific, Yellow and South China Seas. The current Administration’s track record of kowtowing to our enemies tells us it won’t be too difficult for Wal-Mart’s number one supplier to get its way.
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This day in history January 1
1863: Republican President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation takes effect freeing slaves held in Confederate States.
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