Is China’s DF-26 missile an aircraft carrier killer?

China’s DF-26 missile, despite its great power, still has a weakness in satellite connection, which can be exploited by the US to disable. Not to mention, guiding to intercept a moving target is extremely difficult.

Just a day ago China’s Strategic Missile Force test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile DF-26 – capable of hitting an aircraft carrier – amid strained relations with the US.

The test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile DF-26 took place at night at an unspecified location, state radio reported on June 8, 2021, citing the South China Morning Post.

China has long declared the “Guam Assassin” – implying that it will present a great threat to the key US military bases located on this Pacific island, which can attack. even ships in the ocean.

In addition, the media and many Chinese generals also called this type of missile “carrier killer”. China is working to develop anti-ship ballistic missiles to deter the US aircraft carrier fleet.

Despite claiming the DF-21 is an aircraft carrier killer, China has not shown that its missile can track moving targets at sea. Intercepting a target even a large aircraft carrier, but moving continuously at sea at a distance of thousands of kilometers is not easy.

No country in the world has successfully developed anti-ship ballistic missiles, even those with advanced technology such as Russia and the US.

So many people think that the DF-26 is a scary ballistic missile, but to be able to destroy aircraft carriers moving on the ocean, China will probably need many more years to figure out how. improved navigation system.

To be able to detect the US aircraft carrier group moving in the vast South China Sea, China will have to rely heavily on a long-range reconnaissance and surveillance system.

Beijing does not currently possess modern reconnaissance and reconnaissance aircraft, so it is likely to have to depend on satellite sensors to find the group of US warships.

China will have to deploy many expensive satellite sensor systems to provide the necessary target data to help the DF-26 missile probe successfully carry out the attack. To hit moving targets at sea, China needs to master the complex process of acquiring target information by satellite in real time.

Assess the situation and then transmit this data to the rocket crew. The satellite must also continuously provide real-time target coordinates to the missile during the launch phase to ensure it makes a hit.

This entire process must use satellite connections, which are very vulnerable to interference and neutralized by electronic warfare measures such as jamming.

The United States and its allies in the Asian region have recently been focusing on developing capabilities to cut or at least disrupt connections in this “chain of destruction” of the DF-26.

Speed ​​is the DF-26’s outstanding strength, helping it to overcome enemy defenses, but also its weakness when the target data connection is interrupted.

When the target data line breaks or is interfered with, the DF-26 can be confused, flying out of range before realizing what is really going on. By digitally capturing and retransmitting radio frequency (RF) signals, a modern US military jammer can cause this confusion.

In addition, electronic warfare measures could also exploit China’s limitations in connecting and integrating combat data, as well as its lack of experience in real-time decision making and its machinery. commander performs a long-range precision attack

The DF-26 is a medium-range ballistic missile mounted on a mobile launcher, which entered service with the Chinese military in April 2018. The DF-26 is a medium-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 4,000 km, which can carry nuclear or conventional warheads.

In August 2020, China’s strategic missile force launched two intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the South China Sea, including the DF-26, as a warning message to the US. Previously, Washington sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to exercise at the same time in the South China Sea.

Long-range missiles like the DF-26 are banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed between the US and Russia, but China is not a party to the INF. In 2020, the US announced its withdrawal from the INF, Washington cited Russia as violating the treaty as well as China developing intermediate-range missiles


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