Chinese troops are outperforming the United States in a missile race, especially anti-ship missiles and US generals are working out counter measures before carriers become obsolete.
“We know China has the most advanced ballistic missile force in the world”, said James Fanell, a former US Navy admiral and former US Pacific Fleet intelligence officer, on Reuters. “They have superior capabilities compared to the defensive systems we currently have”.
Robert Haddick, a former Marine Corps officer, who is an adviser to the US Special Operations Command, said: “Chinese anti-ship missiles are completely superior to American missiles, including the range. Shoot, speed and sensor system “. That was the result of strong advances in the Chinese military, since Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the establishment of the Strategic Missile Force (PLARF) in 2015.
China has so far never published a missile strength, but observers estimate the PLARF has 100,000 people, 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 300 mid-range ballistic missiles. It is also said to possess 1,150 short-range ballistic missiles and 3,000 cruise missiles. Chinese long-range anti-ship missiles YJ-12 or YJ-18 have absolutely no opponents. America does not have weapons of equal power.
American RGM-UGH-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles only have a range of 240km, much more limited than Chinese missiles. American weapon manufacturer Raytheon is trying to build a version of Tomahawk cruise missile aiming to shoot warships, but the missile is still not ready”. It’s a big distance, Haddick emphasized. Supersonic technology is a future arms race between Russia, the United States and China, but Beijing has proved to be superior to weapons that are five times the speed of sound.
“10-15 years ago, we took the lead in military technology, but now are lagging”, Michael Griffin, senior Pentagon official warned of the US Congress in April. America tried supersonic cruise missiles in 2017 but neither Lockheed Martin and Raytheon created reliable weapons. “We are at a disadvantage because of the Chinese ballistic missile storage base and US ships in the Western Pacific“, admits Harry Harris, a former commander of the US Pacific Command.
A former Chinese army colonel once said: “We cannot defeat the US at sea. But we have carrier-specific missiles to stop them coming closer if the conflict breaks out”. At the Zhuhai Air Show in November 2017, China announced a new model of supersonic anti-ship missile named CM-401, a range of 290km.