China's anti-carrier missiles alerts US.


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Mar 21, 2009
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China's anti-carrier missiles

China is moving ahead with development of an aircraft-carrier-killing ballistic missile that is likely the first step in a major new Chinese strategic missile program, according to a forthcoming report by Mark A. Stokes, a retired Air Force officer and former Pentagon China specialist.
The report provides new details on efforts by the Chinese military to convert DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles into aircraft-carrier-killing weapons, viewed by the Pentagon to be key asymmetric warfare weapons in Beijing's military buildup.
The report identifies numerous Chinese military and technical writings that show the development of anti-ship ballistic missiles is well advanced.
It states that China is ready to conduct a flight test, perhaps timed to future elections in Taiwan.
Mr. Stokes is director of the Project 2049 Institute, an Asia policy research group in Arlington that will release the report, "China's Evolving Conventional Strategic Strike Capability," in the next several days.
Disclosure of the report comes as China's state-run newspaper Global Times reported Wednesday that the Chinese military on Oct. 1, during a parade marking the 60th anniversary of the communist government, will showcase for the first time five types of missiles, including nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, conventional cruise missiles and medium-range and short-range conventional missiles.
U.S. intelligence agencies for the past several years have been closely monitoring China's northern port of Dalian, where past anti-ship missile tests were carried out, for the first flight test of the new ASBM.
The new conventionally armed ballistic missile test, if successful, is expected to be strategically comparable to Beijing's January 2007 anti-satellite missile test.
The report by Mr. Stokes states that fielding the anti-ship missile "could alter the strategic landscape in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond."
The current missile being developed, the DF-21, has a range of about 1,500 miles, enough to threaten and deter U.S. aircraft-carrier strike groups that would be used by the Pentagon to defend Taiwan from a mainland attack or to respond to other conflicts in Asia.
The new missiles are expected to fly in the upper atmosphere or near space and thus "negate" current U.S. Navy-based missile defenses, the report says.
Beyond Asia, the report states that using missiles to hit ships as sea is the first step in China's plan for conventional long-range attack capability across the globe.
The U.S. military is developing a similar capability called prompt global strike that would enable commanders to hit targets anywhere in the world in less than an hour. The Pentagon also is conducting research on long-range anti-ship missiles.
The report states that a review of Chinese military writings reveals that anti-ship ballistic missiles are part of a "phased approach for development of a conventional global strike capability by 2025."
The phases include extending the targeting range of precision guided conventional warhead missiles from 1,240 by 2010 to 1,860 miles in 2015, up to 5,000 miles by 2020, and globewide missile capabilities by 2025 using a hypersonic cruise vehicle.
The missile programs include maneuvering re-entry vehicles and warheads with on-board sensors that are accurate enough to attack ships in the ocean moving at up to 35 knots at sea.
For targeting and tracking, China is developing a comprehensive system of space, ground and sea radar and sensors, including a "near-space" vehicle that would be deployed out of range of most surface-to-air missiles.
In addition to using it during a conflict over Taiwan, China also could use its long-range missiles in any conflict in the South China Sea or in response to threats to close sea lanes used to transport oil to China.
"China's success in fielding a regional and global precision-strike capability could extend the threat envelope to military facilities in Hawaii, and perhaps even space-related and other military facilities in the continental United States that are likely to be involved in a Taiwan-related contingency," Mr. Stoke said.
U.S. allies in Asia rely on aircraft-carrier strike groups, which are outfitted with both strike aircraft and long-range cruise missiles, to maintain security.
China's ability to attack the carriers will undermine stability by preventing carriers from moving within 1,500 miles of China, the report says.
The report mentions a new Chinese missile threat that is a an advanced hybrid ballistic missile that skims the Earth's atmosphere and then converts to an air-breathing cruise missile before reaching the target.
Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said China is rapidly developing the space surveillance and navigation system for its long-range missiles.
"This threat deserves very serious consideration, as it would clearly, if true, necessitate a major new American initiative in the area of missile defenses," Mr. Fisher said.
Jeffrey Lewis, a strategic analyst at the New America Foundation, said the Chinese military seems very interested in conventionally armed ballistic missiles "largely, I suspect, out of a desire to increase the service's profile and autonomy."
Mr. Lewis, however, has been wrong in the past in his assessment of Chinese military developments. He stated on his blog in July 2005 that the Pentagon had "no evidence" for published claims China was working on a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile.
A year and half later, in January 2007, China conducted its first successful test of a direct-ascent ASAT missile after several failures.
Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong did not address the new missile directly.
"As a peace-loving country that pursues the national defense policy of self-defense nature, China's military modernization, including its navy building, is solely for self-defense," Mr. Wang said in an e-mail.
China surveillance
The Pentagon has rejected a demand by China to halt air and naval surveillance of the country.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said the recent demand made by Chinese officials at a meeting in Beijing under the auspices of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement was rejected.
"We have given the PRC that position numerous times, most recently at the MMCA," Mr. Morrell told Inside the Ring.
He went on to state: "Without commenting on intelligence operations that may or may not be taking place, I can say that the U.S. Navy operates in international waters all over the world, including off the coast of China. We are perfectly within our rights to do so, just as the Chinese or any other navy would be. Such missions should not be viewed as a security or economic threat to anyone."
China's Defense Ministry issued a statement last week blaming U.S. air and sea surveillance for "military confrontations between the two sides."
"The way to resolve China-U.S. maritime incidents is for the U.S. to change its surveillance and survey operations policies against China, decrease and eventually stop such operations," the statement after the two-day military meeting said.

Washington Times - Inside the Ring

if the US its threatened means India also should be carefull ,

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