China asserts need for a 'carrier killer'

The 2010 annual report from the Secretary of Defense to the Congress on the "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" was released in late August. One of the more controversial findings in the report was that China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) based on a variant of the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). The missile has a range in excess of 1,500 km, is armed with a maneuverable warhead, and when integrated with appropriate command and control systems, is intended to provide the PLA the capability to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean. There has been a lively debate as to whether China really is developing such a weapon, why it would do so, and whether it could be effective. Most of this debate has been among Western military and foreign policy experts. It is useful, however, to consider what the Chinese are saying about the topic. On September 6, the...(Read Full Post)