FPI / November 11, 2022
By Richard Fisher
At China’s biannual Zhuhai Airshow, this year from Nov. 8 to 12, China’s missile makers displayed new anti-ship ballistic missiles intended to threaten United States Navy ships that may come to the aid of Taiwan should China invade the island democracy.
Perhaps the most dramatic new missile capability revealed by China is a new air launched ballistic missile (ALBM), two of which are displayed being carried by a Xian Aircraft Corporation H-6K bomber.
The maker and designation of this missile are as of yet unknown, but the missile appears to be based on a second-generation short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) or the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
In its air launched version, this missile could have a range of up to 600 kilometers, perhaps close to the range of current U.S. Navy air defense missiles, and its high vertical attack speed would complicate interception.
This would be the PLA’s second air-launched ballistic missile, starting with the 2,000 km range CASIC DF-21D based missile carried by the H-6N bomber.
As it is possible that an H-6K could carry four of these missiles, a Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) unit of 24 H-6ks could fire up to 96 of these missiles at U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and supporting ships.
CASC revealed a detailed model of its YJ-21 anti-ship ballistic missile small enough to be launched by the Vertical Launch System (VLS) of most PLA Navy surface warships.
Free Press International
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