Magazine article National Defense

Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Sparks Speculation, Concern

Magazine article National Defense

Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Sparks Speculation, Concern

Article excerpt

The April 2011 issue of the Navy's Proceedings magazine showed an image of a U.S aircraft carrier aflame in the aftermath of being struck by a Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile.

The alarming cover painting and the emergence of this new weapon has given naval planners pause.

Designed to be launched from land and strike a moving ship at sea by employing a maneuverable reentry vehicle during a regional conflict, it has been called a "game changing weapon."

"The U.S. Navy has not previously faced a threat from highly accurate ballistic missiles capable of hitting moving ships at sea," wrote Ronald O'Rourke, specialist in naval affairs at the Congressional Research Service, in a February report to lawmakers focusing on China's naval modernization.

The DF-21D, as it is known, uses a combination of radar and optical sensors to make last second guidance updates. High explosives in the reentry vehicle knock out its target. …

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