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China Announces Deployment Of 'Carrier Killer' Missile After US Navy Sends Warship Near Disputed Islands
Beijing has announced that its so-called carrier killer anti-ship missile has been deployed to the country's northwest, just a day after the U.S. Navy sailed a warship past disputed islands in the South China Sea.
China's DF-26 ballistic missile, which reportedly has a range of 3,000-4,000 km, was mobilized to the country's northwest plateau and desert areas, the state-run Global Times newspaper reported Tuesday, quoting national broadcaster CCTV.
While the actual deployment date was not mentioned, the timing of the reports' release coincided with a U.S. "freedom of navigation" operation (FONOP) near Chinese-held islands in the South China Sea's Paracel chain on Monday. In the FONOP, which Washington conducts globally to challenge maritime claims it considers excessive, the U.S. Navy sent the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS McCampbell guided-missile destroyer near the islands — a move China blasted as a "provocation."
The Global Times report alluded to the U.S. operation, quoting an unidentified expert as noting that the deployment "is a good reminder that China is capable of safeguarding its territory."
"Even when launched from deeper inland areas of China, the DF-26 has a range far-reaching enough to cover the South China Sea," the expert added.
China's DF-26 ballistic missile is seen after a military parade in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on Sept. 3, 2015(IceUnshattered/Wikimedia Commons)
Beijing has constructed a series of military outposts throughout the waterway, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, where the U.S., Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies also operate.
The newspaper called the DF-26 a "new generation of intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of targeting medium and large ships at sea." According to the Pentagon's 2018 report on Chinese military power, the road-mobile missile, first fielded in 2016, "is capable of conducting conventional and nuclear precision strikes against ground targets and conventional strikes against naval targets in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans and the South China Sea."
China's Defense Ministry announced that the missile had been officially deployed last April, and CCTV said Tuesday that weapons "are now capable of mobile operations across the country."
Experts say a mobile missile launch from deep inside China's interior would be more difficult to intercept than a launch from an area closer to the shore. This is because in the initial launch phase, the missile is relatively slow and easy to detect, making it a ripe target for enemy anti-missile strikes. After the launch enters its later stages, the missile's speed is so fast that the chances of interception dwindle significantly.
This missile's deployment has also stoked concern in Japan, home to a number of key U.S. military bases.
According to a June 2017 report published by the Center for a New American Security think tank, while the United States' main focus on the DF-26 has been aircraft carriers, the missile also bolsters China's ability to target and destroy U.S. bases in the region — a capability experts say remains an underappreciated challenge.
"The greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China's missile forces to threaten U.S. bases in the region," the report said.
In it, the two authors, Thomas Shugart and Javier Gonzalez, simulated a preemptive Chinese attack on U.S. bases in Japan. They found the results would be devastating, including "almost every major fixed headquarters and logistical facility being struck" and "almost every U.S. ship in port in Japan struck pierside by ballistic missiles." The simulation also found that most of the military runways would be cratered in the attack, effectively clipping the wings of the U.S. Air Force in Japan.
©2019 the Japan Times (Tokyo). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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The Marine Corps has tapped a new Silicon Valley defense firm to develop a "digital fortress" of networked surveillance systems in order to enhance the situational awareness of security forces at installations around the world.
Marine Corps Installations Command on July 15 announced a $13.5 million sole source contract award to Anduril Industries — the two-year-old defense technology company and Project Maven contractor founded by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and several former Palantir Technologies executives — for a new Autonomous Surveillance Counter Intrusion Capability (ASCIC) designed to help secure installations against "all manners of intrusion" without additional manpower.
This is no standard intrusion system. Through its AI-driven Lattice Platform network and 32-foot-tall autonomous Sentry Towers, Anduril purports to combine the virtual reality systems that Luckey pioneered at Oculus with Pentagon's most advanced sensors into a simple mobile platform, enhancing an installation's surveillance capabilities with what Wired recently dubbed "a web of all-seeing eyes, with intelligence to know what it sees."
The Marine Corps' dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 18 when two Iranian drones came dangerously close, according to U.S. Central Command.
"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."
Green Beret with terminal cancer meets Trump to rally support for military medical malpractice reform
On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.
A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.
The Pentagon is no longer topless. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Mark Esper as the United States' first permanent defense secretary in more than seven months.
Esper is expected to be sworn in as defense secretary later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.
"We are grateful for the Senate leadership and the Senate Armed Services Committee's willingness to quickly move through this process," Hoffman said.
The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.
But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?