Sept. 07 (China Military News cited from atimes.com and written by Jens Kastner and Wang Jyh-Perng) –
In the past 12 months, the world’s military journals have been awash with analyses of the power balance in the West Pacific possibly tilting in China’s favor. Pundits and reporters proclaim in unison that Beijing is about to achieve its goal of making United States military interventions in future conflicts fought out in the Yellow, the East China or South China Seas a very difficult, if not impossible, mission.
Most think-tanks see Washington’s democratic allies in the region as being threatened by China’s boosted reconnaissance abilities, its submarine fleet and a growing arsenal of cruise and tactical missiles.
Yet, among all of Beijing’s options to challenge US naval supremacy, the weapon that sends chills down China’s opponents’ spines is what is regarded as a Wunderwaffe, or wonder weapon, the Dong Feng 21D, the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile. If the assessments of observers prove correct, China’s wonder weapon is to make its way into history books – with it, China would be able to take on the US Navy’s aircraft carriers, the pride of the US military.
The outcome of a simulation published by Orbis, an American journal on international relations and US foreign policy, clearly did its job in making military circles uneasy. After a hit by a Dong Feng 21D, it took the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington a mere 20 minutes to sink.
The DF-21D, as the missile is commonly called, is a modification of a solid-propellant, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile that China has been working on since the late 1960s. The newest version, also going under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reporting name CSS-5 Mod-4, is believed to come with the unique feature that it can target a moving aircraft carrier as far away as 3,000 kilometers from a land-based mobile launcher.