AN EVOLVING THREAT TO THE U.S. PACIFIC FLEET

China’s Land-based anti-ship missiles

Over the past two decades China has committed significant resources towards developing an effective Anti-area/Access-Denial capability in its littoral zones and surrounding Seas. Chinese military forces have sought to integrate advancements made in missile technology and intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) systems to create a credible and persistent threat to any adversary seeking access within Chinese waters—claimed or legitimate. This has resulted in significant range and accuracy improvements for the PLA missile force, and particularly, the anti-ship missile force. These long and medium-range anti-ship missiles, which are deployed across a variety of platforms and augmented by a high-end, high-capacity Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS), pose a legitimate threat to the U.S. Navy’s ability to access and maintain presence in the maritime areas surrounding Taiwan, parts of South Korea and Japan, and those countries bordering the South China Sea.

One of the most concerning threats to U.S. and allied naval forces in the Asia-Pacific stems from the Dong Feng ballistic missile family. Within this family, two of the more highly advanced ballistic missiles are the DF-21D, popularly known as “the carrier-killer”, and the longer-range DF-26. U.S. military officials have recognized the DF-21D as having reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2010, while the DF-26, has not yet received this status…Click HERE to read full article.