China’s New Uninterceptable Accurate Carrier Killer DF-16 MissilePosted: February 7, 2017
SCMP says in its report today titled “New Chinese missile capable of threatening US, Japan bases in Asia makes latest appearance in drills”, “Beijing posts video of medium range DF-16 with a range of 1,000km – within striking distance of Okinawa, home to several US military installations, Taiwan and Philippines”
Previously some Chinese web users give DF-16 the nickname “Okinawa Courier” and DF-26 “Guam Courier” and believe they can destroy US bases there.
Is DF-16 so powerful?
Can it penetrate enemy missile defense?
SCMP says that the final stage of the two-stage missile can adjust its trajectory to evade anti-missile defenses such as the US Patriot system deployed by Taiwan.
As the missile can carry three MIRV warheads and make it even more difficult to intercept.
Is DF-16 accurate enough to hit its target?
SCMP says, “(T)he missile is believed to be accurate to within as little as 5 metres of the target – similar to that of a cruise missile.”
Is DF-16 powerful enough to destroy its target?
SCMP says the three warheads it carries exceed 1,000 kg. It means if it carries a single warhead, the warhead may contain more than one ton high explosive.
That gives me the impression that the missile is also a carrier killer as SCMP says that it can adjust its trajectory to hit slow moving target. An aircraft carrier is precisely a slow moving target that has to be destroyed with such a heavy warhead.
Since China has such warhead technology, I wonder that it may install such warheads in its DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship missiles to sink US aircraft carriers as far away as 3,000 km in Guam while land-attack DF-26 may destroy US land bases in Guam with the accuracy of cruise missile. No wonder US Navy Matters’ article on February 1 worries about “Guam’s susceptibility to ballistic missiles such as the DF-26 and other intermediate to long range missiles” especially if the missiles are so accurate and can evade missile defenses.
If such are Chinese missiles’ capabilities, China must be happy if the US sends most of its navy to attack China to enable it to annihilate most US navy near it so as to prevent its trade lifelines through the oceans from being cut by powerful US navy.
Is the US so stupid? No, according to Reuters’ report on February 3, US Defense Secretary Mattis said that there was no need for dramatic US military moves in the South China Sea and stressed that the focus should be on diplomacy. True, it is not wise to send US navy within lethal range of Chinese missiles.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2068462/new-chinese-missile-capable-threatening-us-japan-bases.