China has been developing its DF-26 intermediate-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for years now, hyping it alternately as a “carrier killer” or, more recently, the “Guam killer,” the latter a reference to the U.S.-managed base on the small island in the South Pacific.
Recently, Chinese military experts quoted by an official English-language website managed by the People’s Liberation Army claimed that a recent test of the missile by its rocket forces proved its ability to adjust its trajectory during flight and strike a moving warship.
The experts said the demonstrated capability was aimed at putting to rest any doubts in the U.S. and the West about the DF-26’s ability to hit a moving aircraft carrier or other warship.
As noted by the Asia Times, the missile has ostensibly been designed to cause unacceptable damage to U.S. Navy capital warships like carriers and other vessels operating in the Western Pacific. However, that capability has increasingly come under scrutiny by military analysts who know that developing a capability to target and sink a U.S. aircraft carrier is an extremely difficult task, even for advancing Chinese A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) weapons systems.
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