China has just created its first ever aircraft carrier the Liaoning and has even developed an ultrafast missile interceptor system. The US stands as the proud owner of the largest carrier fleet of the world while China recently tested an anti-ship missile that can mark a target as far as 2500 miles from the shore.
The supersonic antiship Chinese carrier killer missiles have left the US worried as the Former US Rear Admiral Eric McVadon called them the “strategic equivalent of China’s acquiring nuclear weapons in 1964.” China continues to grow its warships, that may even surpass the US, such a warhead is bound to pose huge risks. The antiship ballistic missile DF-26 (Dong Feng-26) also called the ‘carrier killer’ was built upon the previously successful DF-21.
The Dong Feng series of hypersonic antiship ballistic missiles may be a concern, but they do not threaten the US Navy’s carrier fleet in a way that could render them useless or obsolete. There is absolutely no doubt that aircraft carriers are a highly vulnerable target to any warheads. Despite the fact that such a ballistic missile can completely destroy a US carrier, but so can any highly accurate ballistic missile.
Thinking about the carrier killer missiles, we can not forget that they are not the only arms around. The US owns state of the art of the art Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) for defense against anti-ship missiles. The fact that the US has the weaponry to shoot down Chinese missiles will urge the Chinese Navy to withdraw them further into the mainland which will significantly reduce the range of the missiles.
If you are thinking about the artificial islands that China is building, keeping the weapons, there will just make it more exposed and thus an easier target to be destroyed. However, there is absolutely no doubt that the new ballistic missiles are much harder to shoot down than cruise missiles, but they can still be tracked by radar. The intermediate range Dong Feng missiles will only create a no-go zone for the aircraft carriers around China’s coast. This is excellent protection but only until the US manages to shoot down all of these missile launchers, using the planes that can still be launched from the carriers as they sit outside the defended zone.