In a new step in China’s further military expansion, a new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBN) will be deployed from Guangdong, writes Wendell Minnick in Defense News. The news has been confirmed by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The ASBM has been dubbed the aircraft “carrier killer” by observers and is part of China’s larger anti-access/area denial strategy designed to discourage the U.S. Navy from coming to the aid of Taiwan during a war. Now it appears China is using the same strategy to deter U.S. and other regional navies from operating in the South China Sea.
Though U.S. aircraft carrier groups have significant air defense capabilities, including SM-3 missiles, the threat ASBMs pose is a new one, said Stokes. No country has yet developed a reliable ASBM system and therefore there is reluctance among some analysts to dismiss the possibility China has developed the capability of locating and destroying a moving target at sea with a ballistic missile.
However, U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard told members of the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committee in March that China was nearing a test phase for an ASBM.