China has showcased its “carrier-killer” missile, Dongfeng (DF-21) during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of world war two today.
The missile was first unveiled in 2014. The solid-propellant, single warhead medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) is developed by China’s Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy.
China has reportedly developed and tested its first anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) DF-21D with a maximum range exceeding 1,450 kilometres (900 mi) in 2011. The DF-21D is similar to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) going into the orbit and re-entering the atmosphere. The difference is it maneuvers on to a target before landing a large warhead on or near a moving ship.
The MRBM has never been tested against the full range of countermeasures. It would be difficult to bring down a missile of this nature and a whole array of sensors, radar, satellites and other equipment would be needed to lock on to the target.
China is said to be manufacturing about a 1000 of them. The western media was skeptical about the capabilities of DF-21D.
The US Navy is considering either going ahead with the expensive LRASM or upgrade the Tomahawk missile which was never intended for naval warfare to compete against the DF-21D.
DF-21D is capable of traveling at Mach 10 speed with an effective range of 1,200 miles and the US Navy has expressed concern that the weapon might pose a major threat to US aircraft carriers.