Τρίτη, 9 Ιουνίου 2009

Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers


Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers
With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km. The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces. The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike. Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes. Supporting the missile is a network of satellites, radar and unmanned aerial vehicles that can locate U.S. ships and then guide the weapon, enabling it to hit moving targets. The ASBM is said to be a modified DF-21. While the ASBM has been a topic of discussion within national defense circles for quite some time, the fact that information is now coming from Chinese sources indicates that the weapon system is operational. The Chinese rarely mention weapons projects unless they are well beyond the test stages. If operational as is believed, the system marks the first time a ballistic missile has been successfully developed to attack vessels at sea. Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack. Along with the Chinese naval build-up, U.S. Navy officials appear to view the development of the anti-ship ballistic missile as a tangible threat. After spending the last decade placing an emphasis on building a fleet that could operate in shallow waters near coastlines, the U.S. Navy seems to have quickly changed its strategy over the past several months to focus on improving the capabilities of its deep sea fleet and developing anti-ballistic defenses.
The development programme has been confirmed by both US government and Asian military sources, with the latter estimating that the PLA may be able to deploy the space targeting systems needed to make its anti-ship ballistic missile operational by 2009. PLA efforts to provide terminal guidance capabilities to both its 600 km-range DF-15 (CSS-6) short-range ballistic missile and DF-21 (CSS-5) medium-range ballistic missile with a range of 2,150 km, or 2,500 km for the DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod 2), have been known since the mid-1990s. The existence of a terminally guided DF-21C has long been reported. Asian military sources said that the PLA will be using a version of the DF-21 for its ballistic anti-ship missions side by side with the Russian 3M-54E - "Sizzler" crusing missile making the U.S. Aircraft Carriers Vulnerable to Attack
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By David Cranedefrev- April 6, 2009
I’ve been writing about the
vulnerability of U.S. Navy surface ships, particularly large expensive aircraft carriers, against other countries’ anti-ship cruise missiles and torpedoes for awhile, now. Specifically, I’ve focused on the latest crop of supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles and supercavitating torpedoes, even though some argue that long-range wake-homing torpedos pose a greater threat to our warships than the supercavitating variety. Well, that debate may be a moot point due to China’s development of an advanced long-range anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) "kill weapon" that can reportedly target, track, and destroy U.S. surface ships, including aircraft carriers, in a single strike without being nuclear tipped, due to its size. This makes the ASBM "kill weapon" the… first ballistic misssile to be successfully developed specifically to attack surface ships. According to a U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) report, the missile has range of 2000 kilometers (2000km) (approximately 1,240 miles) and can reach an aircraft carrier or any other surface ship within 12 minutes at that range.USNI also reports that the Chinese ASBM "kill weapon" employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature (i.e. low-observability, or "stealth" aspects), and "maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, and thus better able to evade tracking and interception. The news of this new ship-killing weapon has, according to USNI, caused "panic inside the [U.S. Navy leadership] bubble", causing a major sea change (excuse the pun) in U.S. Navy focus strategy away from an emphasis on littoral combat ships designed to operate in shallow water near coastlines and toward improving the capabilities of deap-sea war ships and "developing anti-ballistic defenses". The U.S. Navy’s reaction to the Chinese ASBM threat leads the USNI believe it’s legitimate. At this moment in time, DefenseReview isn’t aware of any viable U.S. ship-borne defense system that can effectively deal with the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile. If one of our readers is aware of one, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If the U.S. Navy indeed doesn’t have a viable defense agains the Chinese ASBM, the first three obvious questions are "why not", "how long will it take to develop one", and "how much will it cost". Defense Review doesn’t doubt for a second that we can do it, it’s just a question of "how long" and "how much".

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