Admiral Robert Willard, PACOM commander, disclosed that China was “developing and testing a conventional… [medium-range ballistic missile] designed specifically to target aircraft carriers.” While the system had been heard in rumor and speculation for sometime, this was the first official acknowledgment of its existence. If deployed, Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles would be the first capable of targeting a moving aircraft-carrier from a long-range. This would almost certainly shift the balance of power in the Pacific.
Last week, Adm. Robert Willard, the head of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), made an alarming but little-noticed disclosure. China, he told legislators, was “developing and testing a conventional anti-ship ballistic missile based on the DF-21/CSS-5 [medium-range ballistic missile] designed specifically to target aircraft carriers.”
What, exactly, does this mean? Evidence suggests that China has been developing an anti-ship ballistic missile, or ASBM, since the 1990s. But this is the first official confirmation that it has advanced to the stage of actual testing.