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Aug-07-2010 15:27printcomments

US Stunned: New Chinese Missile Capable of Sinking Every US Supercarrier

With the new generation of missile and more to come, the US position has weakened and may weaken more in the years ahead.

The latest generation of the Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D) Chinese missile.
The latest generation of the Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D) Chinese missile.

(CHICAGO) - A new 'smart missile' threatens to tip the balance of power towards China, US military analysts say.

The latest generation of the Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D) is a supercarrier killer according to experts on China's armaments. The missile can be launched from land and strike an aircraft carrier 900 miles away.

China has 11,200 miles of coastline. That fact coupled with the range and accuracy of the new missile could spell doom for any US or allied carrier fleet.

Patrick Cronin, a senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program that is part of the Washington, DC Center for a New American Security organization admits the DF 21D is designed to kill carriers—specifically US Naval carriers. “The Navy has long had to fear carrier—killing capabilities. The emerging Chinese anti-ship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post—Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval power projection and deliberately designed for that purpose.”

The new Chinese military's 96166 Unit will be outfitted with DF 21C medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) and possibly the DF-21D ASBM as well.

For more than a decade Pentagon strategists, analysts and war-gamers have worried about a new super missile that could pierce America's invincible carrier fleet. The carriers maintain the dominant American influence in the East Asian waters and counterbalance the threat of the globally emerging China.

With the potential loss of carrier superiority, the US faces the prospect of a very real Chinese move on Taiwan. It also could potentially greatly weaken the US leverage on North Korea and expose South Korea to greater military risk.

Other than a nuclear attack, American carriers are well shielded with defensive weaponry, high-tech machinery of war and of course state-of-the-art jet fighter aircraft and jet bombers. All US carriers are also equipped with conventional cruise missiles and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

"The Chinese now have a weapon that can potentially neutralize our 21st Century carrier fleet," a USN admiral said under conditions of anonymity. "If the Chinese decide to deploy it and launch against us we'd be backed into a corner. We'd have to respond with our nuclear arsenal."

The Chinese were floundering in attempts to build effective missiles until the Clinton administration agreed to sell China three Cray supercomputers as part of a trade deal. Intelligence analysts agree that China immediately put the superior computing power to work for their military, especially nuclear and missile development.

the Chinese are well aware their new weapon has the ability to checkmate the US Navy. For several years the Chinese government has become more strident in their demands that US naval forces stay out of the Yellow, East and South China seas. Beijing has flatly claimed that region as theirs.

International experts claim that several US naval exercises during the past several years have been delayed or moved because of Chinese threats. They point out China strongly protested war game exercises the US planned jointly with South Korea in the Yellow Sea. The naval task forces would have conducted operations near the north-eastern Chinese coast. China flatly stated any such exercise within the vicinity of its coastal waters would be a provocative action. They claimed that the naval forces would be within striking distance of Beijing. In the end the tensions were resolved by the US moving the exercise to the Sea of Japan.

Pentagon officials, however, flatly denied that was the motivation for moving the location of the exercises. In a terse statement to the press the Pentagon dismissed the allocation that any Chinese pressure ever modified any planned US naval exercises.

The Pentagon added that the United States Navy will not be told by Beijing where they can or cannot operate operate. “We reserve the right to exercise in international waters anywhere in the world,” declared Rear Admiral Daniel Cloyd, who headed the U.S.exercises.

As China has risen into the ranks of an emerging superpower, so has its military. Better armed, better trained, the Chinese navy is seeking to extend its influence across more of the region. And that region is rapidly expanding. Virtually each of the last 20 years China has funneled more and more money into its military forces and weaponry. China has maintained a stunning double-digit growth rate in military expenditures for all of those two decades.

With the new generation of missile and more to come, the US position has weakened and may weaken more in the years ahead.

Toshi Yoshihara, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College asserts that now “China can reach out and hit the U.S. well before the U.S. can get close enough to the mainland to hit back." China has maneuvered itself into a position where it can threaten and deter US action. The US has only faced such a situation during the action in the Pacific against the Japanese during WWII and when facing down the Soviet threat during the Cold War.

Considering the implications and significant threat of China's new generation of carrier-killing missiles, Yoshihara foresees the possibility that they “could have an enduring psychological effect on U.S. policymakers. It underscores more broadly that the U.S. Navy no longer rules the waves as it has since the end of World War II. The stark reality is that sea control cannot be taken for granted anymore.”

US power in the region is gradually being eclipsed.


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Anonymous August 10, 2010 2:05 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Vic, perhaps you should actually study history. The Japanese were not trying to negotiate a surrender at all. You are blatantly wrong. Anything Japan might have agreed to would not be a surrender so much as a "negotiated peace" involving numerous conditions. American leaders could never have accepted anything less than a complete Japanese surrender. The Japanese were complete barbarians and I am glad they did not win the war, or we'd all have it a lot worse than we do. Except YOU, Vic. You'd still be hating America from the toilet that has become Mexico. But to be clear, there were NO DIPLOMATS in WASHINGTON negotiating an end to the war. There was a communications blackout from the Japanese at the time.

Ryan August 9, 2010 11:26 am (Pacific time)

Depending on who you read when it comes to Japan surrendering, it was a pretty clear record up to the time before the atom bombs were dropped that they were ready to die to the last person. Looking back like we are now is simply not allowing for people to consider what historians often address as the "climate of the times." Though Japan imports much of their food and raw materials they could still feed their people for many years, and most likely indefinitely as their population reduced. The main island of Japan is immense, and a blockade would have been essentially impossible with the available resources and technology of the time, plus the world was fed up with these criminals and it was time to end it and bring our people home. Enough of us had died! I am quite confident that many lives were saved, and am very thankful that President Truman chose the course of action he did. Too often, people without combat experience try to second guess events through a prism of inexperence and ignorance, of course if they had experienced such violent combat and the war crimes of the Japanese, maybe they would have a different opinion. At any rate, it is history now, and fortunately nuclear bombs have not been used since. We came close during the Cuban Missle Crisis, and it looks like the future may bring something similar. Of course Japan brought all this onto themselves, they were a criminal war nation that murdered tens of millions, but Mao in China killed even more. Violent part of the world, Asia. China is a totalatarian society that threatens all democracies, just look at their track record internally and externally. By the way Vic, though Mexico does not have the military hardware we do, they seem to do pretty good in terms of killing huge groups of their citizens, whether by their high individual homicide rate or the growing murdering chaos by their drug cartels, and it is worsening daily.

Vic August 9, 2010 7:55 am (Pacific time)

Japan was/is an island country dependent on imports to eat and especially to continue the war effort. We had it virtually blockaded and at the time of the Hiroshima WMD attack, a Japanese delgation was in Washington DC trying to work out surrender terms. The "dropping the atom bombs saved lives" myth is just that. But it does help assuage our national guilt for needlessly incinerating 200,000 or so Japanese men women and children. AND, we got to impress the Russians with our newfound power, which was the main point. We only used nukes when no one else had them...The "Mutually Assured Destruction" theory worked pretty good, if you ask me. Sometimes the best relief for the victims of a schoolyard bully is for another bully to come into the picture and counter the first one. I certainly am no fan of China nor do I want any carriers sunk or anyone to be killed. AND, I do not "hate the US"...I hate warmongers and tyrants and those who continually drag us into wars for PROFIT. And Mike, Thank You for your generous offer, but I am already residing in Mexico, which BTW has no nukes, military bases outside of it's own borders, or even aircraft carriers. We do have our own problems though, largely in part to the insatiable desire for drugs from our neighbor to the North.

Anonymous August 9, 2010 7:15 am (Pacific time)

Danielis you wrote: "I give the Chinese the benefit of the doubt. They have no history of aggression around the world." Have you spoken to any Korean War veterans about this? China has people all over the world, and I assure you these are not a passive people. America gets blamed for being warlike and agressive, but our responses have generally been based on reacting from attacks on our country/people/military here and abroad; by calls for help from other countries; and of course the treaties we are in. Frankly, without us in the world, what a mess the planet would be in. Can you imagine if Hitler or Japan won WWII? The same can be said if communist China continues to spread it's influence, for they are no friend of democracy nor the individual liberties that allowed you to make your above statements.

Catly August 8, 2010 4:07 am (Pacific time)

So China is edging past the US in key military areas, as it has in almost everything else from low-end consumer products to computer hardware? What's to worry? The US still has an overwhelming superiority in black criminal-athletes, slutty airheads like the Kardashian sisters, and litigation-happy trial lawyers. We'll show 'em!

Mike August 7, 2010 10:53 pm (Pacific time)

Last I heard he wanted to live in Mexico because it's so much better there too. China or Mexico take your pick, I'd be glad to get your ticket for you.

Danielis August 7, 2010 8:19 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with Vic. Too many times in the past century America has egregiously abused its power for the sake of capitalist gain. Many individual Americans have been generous in aid around the world to help victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, but the corporate sector steps up for PR, not humanitarian reasons. For the moment, I give the Chinese the benefit of the doubt. They have no history of aggression around the world. The only concern is the dictatorship of the Communist party--a gerontocracy. I believe the political situation in China will change in the near future as the old guys die off and the society becomes more open, primarily as a result of the internet.

You have to understand the Chinese mindset. They just want to be left alone. The Great Wall of China was built to keep people out, not keep people in. The carrier-killers are defensive, not offensive. If it keeps others, particularly the Americans, 900 miles away from  their coast line, that's all they want. They will not go after the Americans. They, too, have what they believe to be a sphere of influence, primarily Tibet and Taiwan, just like the Americans have treated Cuba for the last half century. It think it's becoming clear that American global hegemony is over. 

Anonymous August 7, 2010 6:38 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Vic, I am glad you liked the NAZI takeover of Europe and wished that we would have delayed our involvement a few more years or never gotten involved. I am sorry you hate the U.S. so much.

Ryan August 7, 2010 6:37 pm (Pacific time)

Vic are talking about when America, to save literally millions of lives on both sides, dropped the atomic bombs in Japan? Glad you trust the Chinese more than us, so are you living there now? Does their Won Ton taste similar to here in the states? How about the egg rolls? Seems they also have a great record in the area of swell treatment for the workers, and of course all those other great freedoms the people have. I guess that's why all those human rights groups give China such a big thumbs up. Vic I recall this Japanese visiting professor I had who had lived on Okinawa during the American invasion. The military leaders were telling all the people (civilians and soldiers) that Americans routinely rape and torture all their prisoners, even the men, and that they should kill their children and commit suicide if the Americans appear to be he explained it in class many did follow those directions, but obviously his parents did not. On the mainland of Japan, similar statements/warnings were made, setting up a major bloodbath for all sides. Propaganda and misinformation easily finds the rubes out there I guess. Since we have had an overwhelming military advantage for 65 years now, I guess we did not find the need to go nuclear again. So I guess we're still waiting to use that power?

Vic August 7, 2010 5:09 pm (Pacific time)

Good....I trust the Chinese more than the Americans. Whenever the US has had an overwhelming military advantage..(like 65 years ago) we cant wait to use it.

Anonymous August 7, 2010 3:43 pm (Pacific time)

Anyone would've known that we would lose our strengths when our corporations were allowed to deal with the commies. We continue to treat Cuba as a leper, yet act as if the Chinese are old school buddies...

Editor: Well said, I also think it is noteworthy that China supported the genocide of Pol Pot.  I think Americans only responds negatively to nations that have never lifted a finger in aggression toward Uncle Sam, we are a confused lot. 

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