Chinese Type 055 heavy destroyers soon to be equipped with anti-ship ballistic missiles

If there is one weapon that China has today that poses a problem for the United States, it is its fleet of medium-range anti-ship ballistic missiles, made up of DF-21D missiles with a range of 1.500 km. , and DF-26 missiles with a range of 4.000 km. Long considered by Western military intelligence services to be propaganda weapons, because they are supposedly incapable of actually targeting a mobile ship, they are now taken much more seriously by the US Navy, which could see its major units, aircraft carriers and LHA (Assault Helicopter Carrier) directly threatened. Beijing now seems determined to push its advantage, by taking this type of missile aboard its new Heavy Destroyers, classified as cruisers by the US Navy, Type 055, whose first unit, the Nanchang, entered service at the start of the year, and whose 8th hull was launched last weekend.

Although theAPL had had the DF-21D missile for many years, and presented it from the beginning as an "Aircraft Carrier Killer", intelligence services such as the Western Marines HQs felt that it was highly unlikely that this type of missile could actually target a moving target, such as a ship. Indeed, the speed of the atmospheric reentry vehicle carrying the explosive (or nuclear) charge approaches hypersonic thresholds, creating thermal and electromagnetic constraints incompatible with the use of a terminal guidance radar, or of an infrared seeker or even optical (video, laser.). In fact, the term "aircraft carrier killer" often used by Beijing did not frighten too much, and was most often described as propaganda.

Entered into service in 2010, the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile had hardly been taken seriously by Western navies until 2018.

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