China’s missiles set to challenge U.S.

China appears set to signal to the United States that it is now ready with a credible military deterrent by demonstrating its DF-21D missiles, widely seen as an aircraft carrier killer, at the grand parade on Thursday at Tiananmen Square, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The DF-21D is a unique ballistic missile with an anti-ship role. The weapon first acquires a ballistic trajectory and then reenters the atmosphere, attacking its target at a 10 times the speed-of-sound, defeating most known anti-ship defences.

Analysts say the missile has been specifically designed to counter the US advantage in aircraft carriers, and is therefore a strategic weapon because of its potential role in shifting the balance of military power in the Pacific.

The state-run daily Global Times had earlier reported that the missile was for the first time on public display at the parade rehearsal on August 23.

The newspaper quoted Shao Yongling, a senior colonel from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as saying that the "DF-21D anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missile that the US believes is targeting it, also was seen for the first time, without concealing its model number," during the rehearsal.

With a range of 1,500 km the DF-21D’s lethality is enhanced on account of its manoeuvrable warhead, making it ideal for attacking U.S. aircraft carriers east of Taiwan. Col. Shao also pointed out that the DF-26 intermediate –range ballistic missile capable of targeting Guam—the US military base in the West Pacific—will also be rolled out during the parade.Xinhua had earlier reported that seven types of missiles will be paraded—a move that military observers say is meant to demonstrate the quality of China’s nuclear deterrent, including a credible second strike capability.

Duowei News, a U.S.-based Chinese outlet has earlier pointed out that the DF-31B—an easy to handle solid fueled missile would be one of the star attractions of the parade. This weapon, which is mobile, and therefore more survivable to a strike, has an 11,200 kilometer range, capable of covering the entire United States.

Nearly 200 military aircraft will swarm the skies above Tiananmen Square during the 50 minute parade.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 2:01:20 PM |

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