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To date, the conventional ASM threat has focused on three key integers - high velocity, high manoeuvrability, low signature - that have concerned various navies around the globe. Now, a newer, potentially more potent anti-ship capability has been developed by the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The challenge remaining, then, is to explore this system in detail - its validity and potency in the current naval environment - with access only to information within the public domain.
Many press outlets have reported the development of the ‘D’ variant of the Dong Feng 21 (DF-21D) anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), (NATO reporting name CSS-5), which is a missile equipped with what is believed to be a single manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle (MaRV), with the sole mission of striking ships at sea. DF-21 is a mobile, medium range ballistic missile that has reportedly achieved its initial operating capability (IOC).
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) is the sea-based component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Aegis BMD builds upon the Aegis Weapon System, Standard Missile, Navy and joint forces’ Command, Control and Communication systems. The Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force formally found Aegis BMD to be operationally effective and suitable. The Navy embraces BMD as a core mission. In recognition of its scalability, Aegis BMD/SM-3 system is a keystone in the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe.
There are 24 Aegis BMD combatants (5 cruisers [CGs] and 19 destroyers [DDGs]) in the U.S. Navy. Of the 24 ships, 16 are assigned to the Pacific Fleet and 8 to the Atlantic Fleet. The MDA and the Navy, working together, will increase the number of BMD capable ships to 32 by end of 2013.
Originally posted by travis911
China is developing this insane super missile that can kill US carriers at will. It is called the DF-21D. It can be launched from over 1000 miles away, making US Carriers worthless in a war with China. The missile then comes down from the atmosphere at Mach 6 making use of most defenses worthless. I hope to bring this to light as this is a weapon that could spell doom for US forces in the future. We talk about wars on terror, but something like this is a real threat!
Originally posted by Justwork
These missiles are known to be nearly impossible to intercept when in use. I feel it would be a good thing for China to send a few to Iran to ensure it can defend itself from American aggression and warmongering.
The DF-21D isn’t necessarily a “game changer,” but it does add a dimension that wasn't there before.
It’s impossible to know in advance just how effective such a missile is likely to be in actual combat. However, the mere possibility that such a system might be effective is likely to affect the way in which the U.S. would operate its surface ships in a crisis or conflict with China. If nothing else, it will force fleet missile defenses to split their attention between anti-ship cruise missiles flying along just above the surface of the ocean and ballistic missiles coming in from overhead.
How all this would work in reality is impossible to know in advance. Even after China has tested its missile against an actual ship, it won’t have tested it against one employing the full range of countermeasures that a U.S. ship would throw at it and, as you say, the U.S. Navy will never have tested its defenses against such an attack. Somebody is likely to be surprised and disappointed, but there is no way of knowing who.
The U.S. arsenal has a variety of potential countermeasures, some of which I probably don’t even know about. The thing to keep in mind is that, in order for China to successfully attack a U.S. navy ship with a ballistic missile, it must first detect the ship, identify it as a U.S. warship of a type that it wishes to attack (e.g., an aircraft carrier), acquire a precise enough measurement of its location that a missile can be launched at it (i.e., a one-hour old satellite photograph is probably useless, as the ship could be 25 miles away from where it was when the picture was taken), and then provide mid-course updates to the missile. Finally, the warhead must lock onto and home in on the ship.
Originally posted by travis911
Most Chinese doctrine suggests for weapons like this to be effective it would need to offensive....
Originally posted by Schkeptick
If China really wants to destroy the USA, all they have to do is quit shipping their stupid, cheap little plastic gizmos to us for a few months. The USA would collapse on itself.
Right now China needs buyers as badly as we want our stupid little gizmos. Why would they go to war with us? They would run out of capital really fast.
This makes no sense.