Twitter Facebook Google RSS
 
Cover Story 

Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Sparks Speculation, Concern 

2,014 

By Stew Magnuson 

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.

“Due to their ability to change course, the [reentry vehicle] on an ASBM would be more difficult to intercept than non-maneuvering ballistic missile reentry vehicles,” O’Rourke stated.

It could strike vessels some 810 nautical miles from China’s shore, the report said.

Jan van Tol, a retired Navy captain and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the flight time is short, so ships would have to get out of the way quickly, if the missile can’t be intercepted.

However, it is not clear that it works yet. The missile has never been tested against mobile targets or those in a cluttered environment, he said.

The CRS report said that China tested the missile on a mock aircraft carrier located in the Gobi Desert in January 2013. That, of course, was a stationary target.

The U.S. Navy will have to figure out a way to break the ASBM’s kill chain, Van Tol said.
Reader Comments

Re: Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Sparks Speculation, Concern

"so ships would have to get out of the way quickly, if the missile can’t be intercepted."

What is he thinking? We need warp drive Scotty!

Carlton Meyer on 04/13/2014 at 18:33

Submit Your Reader's Comment Below
*Name
 
*eMail
 
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
*Comments
 
 
Refresh
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.
*Characters
  
*Legal Notice

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

 
 
  Bookmark and Share