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China'a DF-21D Missile Is A One-Shot Aircraft Carrier Killer
Gizmodo ^ | July 24, 2012 | Andrew Tarantola

Posted on 07/24/2012 9:30:33 PM PDT by James C. Bennett

Since the end of WWII, America's naval might has been undisputed and our aircraft carriers have been its crown jewels. However, the days of dominance could end with China's new DF-21D ballistic missile—the only device on Earth capable of sinking an aircraft carrier—four and a half acres of sovereign US territory—with one shot.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi0d-eFiGN4&feature=player_embedded

The DF-21D (Dong-Feng 21 variant D) is the world's first and only anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). It's a two stage, land-launched missile with a maximum estimated range of 2,700 to 3,000 km. Its single fuel-air explosive warhead packs 200 to 500 kilotons. It was developed by China Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy as part of the country's massive military modernization effort, an initiative focused primarily on developing overwhelming missile technologies for which there are no effective defenses. The Defense Department believes it entered active service around 2009.

While the Chinese obviously aren't saying much on the inner workings of the new missile system, military experts believe it will rely on China's Over the Horizon radar (OTH) to monitor a 3,000-km swath of the South China Sea, where China is now claiming dominion over. The OTH system bounces its radar signal off the ionosphere to see past the curvature of the earth. If the OTH detects a carrier battle fleet, the system instigates a set of Yaogan satellites to search the area and provide precise targeting data. Additionally, when the OTH detects an approaching fleet, the system will reportedly launch a swarm of micro-satellites into low orbit where they will help refine the targeting data further and transmit it back to the onshore command center. Meanwhile, UAVs will be launched to track the fleet. Once the missile has been launched and separated from its first stage, the warhead employs synthetic aperture radar to find the carrier. It receives real time telemetry data as it locks onto its target and initiates its terminal descent.

This capability could be used to effectively deny US carriers from intervening in, say, the Taiwan Strait. It could also be used as a very large stick in resolving local territorial disputes. Many members of the security community also worry that the FAE warheads could easily be replaced with nuclear ones. If that occurred, it would very lead to an arms race with Japan and India (neither of whom are particularly fond of the Communist PRC). Or, it could dissolve the US-Russian INF Treaty, which prevents the two countries from from deploying short and intermediate range land-based ballistic and cruise missiles. [Strategy Page - Wired - Dept of Defense - SinoDefense - Weapon and Technology - Wikipedia]


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aircraftcarrier; china; navair; navy; nuclear
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1 posted on 07/24/2012 9:30:40 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett
China's new DF-21D ballistic missile—the only device on Earth capable of sinking an aircraft carrier—four and a half acres of sovereign US territory—with one shot.

Liberals would be mildly amusing, if they couldn't vote.

2 posted on 07/24/2012 9:33:56 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Nice dam you got in there in the Three Rivers Gorge.

It would be a pity if anything should happen to it...

3 posted on 07/24/2012 9:34:38 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1281 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: James C. Bennett
There's a reason they call them missiles, and hittiles.

/johnny

4 posted on 07/24/2012 9:35:20 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: James C. Bennett

That set of Yaogan satellites would have a very short life expectancy if things heated up over there.

A missile that takes out a US carrier would be better named “The Nuclear War Initiator”.

Any administration that did not counter-strike VERY powerfully after a carrier sinking would doom their party to at least 2 generations out of power.


5 posted on 07/24/2012 9:38:44 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: James C. Bennett

I was predicting the onset of this missile more than 5 years ago. Other freepers told me I was naive.


6 posted on 07/24/2012 9:40:10 PM PDT by Kevmo ( FRINAGOPWIASS: Free Republic Is Not A GOP Website. It's A Socon Site.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Its single fuel-air explosive warhead packs 200 to 500 kilotons.

Somehow, I don't think this person is very well informed; either that or he's very bad at math. Also, I don't think he grasps the capabilities of the Aegis class cruisers and destroyers escorting those carriers. Finally, I don't think the missile has been tested against a maneuvering target; no knows how well it will work.
7 posted on 07/24/2012 9:40:53 PM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Amazing. And since they’ve been working on it since the 70’s, there’s absolutely no chance that the US would have tried to develop counter measures, like jamming their radio/radar signals, high-speed defensive missiles, or other measures that we haven’t even thought of. Wow...we just have to sit back and take it in the shorts.


8 posted on 07/24/2012 9:44:41 PM PDT by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: Little Ray
Yeah, I was wondering about that and was starting to do the kiloton TNT to erg conversions and then do the math to figure out how big the fuel/air explosive warhead would be, but I stopped. It's late, I've had beers, and even a zoomie cook can estimate the orders of magnitude without getting into the exact numbers.

Someone added some zeros somewhere.

/johnny

9 posted on 07/24/2012 9:47:46 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: James C. Bennett; Talisker; null and void; JRandomFreeper; Bobalu

As of right now, a single Ohio class SSBN carries 96 nuclear warheads(W76 or W88).

That is more than enough to destroy the economic potential of China.

An attack on one of our CVNs would provoke a nuclear response.


10 posted on 07/24/2012 9:48:42 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: James C. Bennett

If they ever do it I suspect life is going to change for a whole lot of us, regardless of who’s President.


11 posted on 07/24/2012 9:50:24 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Little Ray

You noticed this too? ;-)

I went and looked up the “Mother of All Bombs” on wikipedia. It is specified as an 11 ton explosive yield. So unless this puppy is nuclear - it isn’t going to be 200 to 500 Ktons!


12 posted on 07/24/2012 9:54:29 PM PDT by fremont_steve
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To: moonshot925

China would also instantly lose access to the US market and cancel the worth of any US bonds held. India would eventually become the big economic winner after China/US trade was undone. The Chinese would really, really hate for India to be blessed this way.

Risking devastating economic and physical destruction for a chance to assert control over Taiwan seems stupid to me.

But then history is replete with examples of just such stupidity.


13 posted on 07/24/2012 9:57:16 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Bobalu

If china tagged a carrier, what’s the chance they’ll ever get their trillion and a half dollars paid back? Hint: name of most famous japanese wwii aircraft.


14 posted on 07/24/2012 10:03:26 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: JRandomFreeper; Little Ray

I assume that a fuel/air explosive has less energy than TNT, so the missile must carry a payload of at least 100,000 tons of fuel to mix with air. I wonder what it weighs at launch.


15 posted on 07/24/2012 10:03:39 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
I didn't push it that far. After I figured out ergs per ton of TNT, and looked up a table of liquid fuels, I called quits.

As I said, even a cook can see the numbers are utter bullsquat.

/johnny

16 posted on 07/24/2012 10:06:25 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

It’s gotta be a big sucka!


17 posted on 07/24/2012 10:18:28 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: topher
A couple of points:

The US has been experimenting with OTH since the 1980's, so they would know alot about that.

Also, since the 1980's, the US has been looking at Lasers to knock down missiles at distances.

What was the 1980's -- the Reagan Defense build up. Maybe we need to need to have a Manhattan type project for Lasers weapons that can take out incoming missiles of any kind.

Screw the treaties, full speed ahead...

18 posted on 07/24/2012 10:19:34 PM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- which have been proven over time.)
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To: Talisker
Liberals would be mildly amusing, if they couldn't vote.
If you asked them what "Jane's" was they would probably lose their mind trying to come up with an answer.
19 posted on 07/24/2012 10:20:03 PM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Bobalu

I’m sure that Obama would send the most heartfelt note and condolences to the families of crew, he might even shed a tear and mention God.

To the Chinese he’d be quite scolding.


20 posted on 07/24/2012 10:27:03 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: James C. Bennett

“...the only device on Earth capable of sinking an aircraft carrier...”

Really? Nothing else? Not even a Trident?


21 posted on 07/24/2012 10:35:25 PM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: James C. Bennett
"200 to 500 kilotons"

No way.

22 posted on 07/24/2012 10:36:21 PM PDT by jpsb
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To: James C. Bennett

Meanwhile in the U. S., we’re busy figuring out which three quarters of the military we’re going to gut.

We’re heading into WWIII shouting, “Paddle faster...”, and the guys in back are yelling back, “You guys eliminated the paddles in the sixth round of cutbacks.”


23 posted on 07/24/2012 10:45:30 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won't have much Left, just a lot of Right.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Seems to me a very small yield nuke should pluck this sort of device from the sky. It would need to be small enough to prevent IMP damage to our forces.


24 posted on 07/24/2012 10:48:23 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won't have much Left, just a lot of Right.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Seems to me a very small yield nuke should pluck this sort of device from the sky. It would need to be small enough to prevent IMP damage to our forces.

Excuse me. That should have read EMP.


25 posted on 07/24/2012 10:48:55 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won't have much Left, just a lot of Right.)
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To: DoughtyOne

You win the prize! Why should the Chinese risk a shooting war when in a decade or so our military will resemble the UK’s.


26 posted on 07/24/2012 10:48:55 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: RightGeek

At times like this, I hate being right.


27 posted on 07/24/2012 10:51:35 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won't have much Left, just a lot of Right.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Alarmist bullcrap. The idea of using a ballistic missile to sink a carrier is ridiculous for several reasons.

Targeting: The process of targeting, authorizing and launching a ballistic missile takes time. It isn't just time-to-target but from the ID of the location of the carrier, programming in the targeting package, authorizing the launch and then travel time for the missile to get there. During this time the carrier group is moving along at a very fast clip (~30 knots) which means the area of uncertainty for where the carrier is going to be grows and grows. The Pentagon experimented with this idea for a while and found it was completely impractical because ballistic missiles are very dumb weapons (that whole ballistic trajectory part) and they aren't going to be able to reliably get within 100 miles of a carrier group, let alone close enough for a kill.

It's a ballistic missile: Do you know why the US has never mounted conventional warheads on ballistic missiles? Because there is no way to tell the difference between a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead and one with a conventional one and we aren't stupid enough to risk a nuclear confrontation just to enable a delivery method which doesn't have many non-nuclear applications in the first place (there are much better ways to do rapid response conventional bombing).

SM-3: 'nuff said.

You don't attack Carrier groups with conventional munitions: This should be obvious but sinking of a US fleet carrier by anyone would immediately trigger an overwhelming response of the instant sunshine variety. This is not just hyperbole--sinking a US carrier is seen as the same thing as a nuclear attack in the first place so why develop a conventional capability that isn't even that great in order to try and do so?

28 posted on 07/24/2012 10:52:52 PM PDT by slippy_toad
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To: Kevmo
"I was predicting the onset of this missile more than 5 years ago. "

Maybe about the time Bill Klinton and Loral showed the ChiComs how to put their fourth stage in geosynchronous orbit?

yitbos

29 posted on 07/24/2012 10:56:15 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: fremont_steve
So unless this puppy is nuclear - it isn’t going to be 200 to 500 Ktons!

A nuclear warhead is a well known method of destroying an aircfaft carrier group. China just came late to the party and the journalists are all excited.

For example, this is an interesting video. BrahMos, in this video, is not supposed to carry a nuclear payload. The weight of the payload is specified as up to 300 kg. But if you look at Moskit which is officially nuclear-capable you read this:

320 kg (710 lb) explosive or 120 kt of TNT fission-fusion thermonuclear

Now, how hard would it be to mount a 300 kg warhead onto a 300 kg capable missile? Is it even conceivable that nobody in the long chain of generals, Russian and Indian, ever asked that question? IMO, BrahMos is advertised as a conventional weapon only because it's an international project. Everyone understands that you don't use these missiles against fishing boats. (But you can; look at the accuracy in the video.)

The new thing that China did here is simple. They used a ballistic missile, and as I understand it is minimally controlled in the descent phase. Its defense is only in speed, and in hope that it is correctly aimed and the target does not move appreciably fast and that the target does not shoot at the incoming missile with everything it got. This may be a valid approach, or it may be a flawed one. Without a test in battle conditions it's hard to say; after the test the survivors wouldn't be very interested in such trivia.

30 posted on 07/24/2012 11:01:38 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Little Pig
Likely a better statement would be the only non-nuclear device...

We have several platforms that can pack a tactical nuke, and the Chinese know it.

31 posted on 07/24/2012 11:06:08 PM PDT by Gabrial (The nightmare will continue as long as the nightmare is in the White House)
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To: James C. Bennett

200 to 500 kilotons in a fuel air bomb?... um no. Not even close. Maybe 2 to 5 at absolute max, and that’s a big fuel air bomb.


32 posted on 07/24/2012 11:06:51 PM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Its single fuel-air explosive warhead packs 200 to 500 kilotons.

Bat guano.

The kind of fuel that packs kilotons into a warhead doesn't give a rat's ass about air. LOL!

33 posted on 07/24/2012 11:17:51 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Little Pig; DoughtyOne; slippy_toad; bruinbirdman; Greysard; cynwoody
Really? Nothing else? Not even a Trident?

After separation from the third stage, the Trident D5 Post-Boost Vehicle(PBV) takes stellar sightings and updates its guidance systems.

The PBV is then able to receive GPS navigation updates to correct its velocity and position in space.

FYI, the accuracies achieved are still classified and even I do not know them.

But they are better than 90 meters CEP.

So the Trident D5 could be used as a carrier killer weapon thanks to its high accuracy.

34 posted on 07/24/2012 11:29:36 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: Little Ray

If it was made in china by Chinese workers then it will be a POS, it will be defective and probably malfunction like the rest of the junk that they make.


35 posted on 07/24/2012 11:34:34 PM PDT by yank in the UK ( A liberal mocking Christianity. I asked "why don't you mock Islam?" he replied "Muslims are violent)
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To: Little Pig

It would be terribly fascinating to see what a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast would do to a Chinese carrier


36 posted on 07/24/2012 11:43:02 PM PDT by yank in the UK ( A liberal mocking Christianity. I asked "why don't you mock Islam?" he replied "Muslims are violent)
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
I’m sure that Obama would send the most heartfelt note and condolences to the families of crew

But I doubt he'd order flags at half-staff unless it involved losing some Hollywood campaign donations generated from the new Batman movie.

37 posted on 07/24/2012 11:45:12 PM PDT by llevrok (2012 : Elect Adults)
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To: moonshot925

Bookmark


38 posted on 07/24/2012 11:49:37 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: James C. Bennett

Transmit fake images.


39 posted on 07/25/2012 12:23:55 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: topher
The US has been experimenting with OTH since the 1980's, what?

Wiki says, "Several OTH radar systems were deployed starting in the 1950s and 60s as part of early warning radar systems, but these have generally been replaced by airborne early warning systems instead."

And satellites!

I dunno if Chicom would even use antiquated technology to find or target a carrier?

I'm kinda surprise Gizmondo's spider being used by chicom's psywar.

40 posted on 07/25/2012 12:31:52 AM PDT by hamboy
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To: philman_36

Obviously, “Jane’s” refers to Fonda’s exercise video.


41 posted on 07/25/2012 3:00:56 AM PDT by Makana
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To: James C. Bennett

Sounds pretty far fetched to me. Based on my extensive experience of playing Harpoon on computer, the ONLY way I could take out a US carrier (as the Russians) was to launch absolutely EVERYTHING, and hope one of the nukes got through.

I doubt this system would be particularly effective.


42 posted on 07/25/2012 3:11:19 AM PDT by Figure11 (There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he doesn't know whether he believes in it or not.)
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To: moonshot925
An attack on one of our CVNs would provoke a nuclear response.

Just like our nuclear response to North Korea, North Vietnam and Al-Qaeda. Oh, wait ever mind.

43 posted on 07/25/2012 3:15:01 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Little Ray

I am not certain that Aegis can defeat a DF-21. Aegis could be effective against tactical ballistic missiles, but the DF-21 is a long range device that would overfly Aegis’ radar fence. Taiwan is installing long range surveillance radar, equivalent to PAVE PAWS, to keep an eye on China, which would almost certainly detect the launch of a DF21, if not effectively jammed.

What really, truly puzzles me is how they think you can get 200 kT from a FAE with a payload much less than one ton?

I also wonder about the OTH radar part. In time of hostilites, nothing would be easier to jam or spoof than an OTH radar. If they are going to track the carriers by satellite, they better pray for clear skies.


44 posted on 07/25/2012 3:53:14 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The Democratic Party strongly supports full civil rights for necro-Americans!)
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To: central_va
Just like our nuclear response to North Korea, North Vietnam and Al-Qaeda. Oh, wait ever mind.

When did North Korea/Vietnam/Al-Qaeda attack one of our carriers?

45 posted on 07/25/2012 3:54:11 AM PDT by moonshot925
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To: Bobalu
"Any administration that did not counter-strike VERY powerfully after a carrier sinking would doom their party to at least 2 generations out of power."

I wouldn't want to take bets on an Obama Administration response. It would likely be whatever was the worst option for the US.

46 posted on 07/25/2012 3:54:55 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: James C. Bennett
"—the only device on Earth capable of sinking an aircraft carrier—....a two stage, land-launched missile with a maximum estimated range of 2,700 to 3,000 km. Its single fuel-air explosive warhead packs 200 to 500 kilotons."

Since a kiloton is 2 million pounds, this missile carries a half a billion pound warhead. It simply must land on the carrier, and sink it with its own weight.

47 posted on 07/25/2012 4:05:56 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: topher

the laser defense is tried, tested and fully operational... I read an article several years ago, they mounted one of these lasers on an M1 chassis... mounted it where the turret was, it looked like a huge searchlight on a tank.. anyway, 25 miles away they lit off a 155mm howitzer.... this thing tracked the projectile and shot it down IN FLIGHT... not once but 3 times in a row..

remember when north korea lit off it’s new ballistic missile and it self destructed? They immediately lit off a bunch of smaller ones that mysteriously self destructed also?

My guess is that our aircraft mounted laser system shot them down...

the aircraft carrier is obsolete, but so is the ballistic missile....


48 posted on 07/25/2012 4:26:20 AM PDT by joe fonebone (I am the 15%)
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To: norwaypinesavage

500 kilotons is a larger yield than the W-88, our second largest thermonuclear warhead in the active US arsenal.


49 posted on 07/25/2012 4:58:07 AM PDT by Wildbill22
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Current Aegis class ships with SM3s have anti-ballistic missile capabilities. I think the DF-21 would be a piece of cake.


50 posted on 07/25/2012 5:02:02 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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