HA Infomation



  • China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 11. 2013 07:44


China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ Was Born in the Balkans

The DF-21D is China’s answer to America’s carriers, with an unusual origin in the Kosovo War

In 1999, the U.S. was engaged in an air and missile war with Serbia. As NATO bombs exploded around Belgrade—part of a campaign to force an end to the ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians by Serb forces—several U.S. missiles slammed into the Chinese embassy. It was the most controversial U.S. action of the war.


China’s leaders were outraged, but could do little in response. The result? The bombing became a pivotal moment in the decision to pursue a sophisticated weapons project: a ballistic missile that can knock out American aircraft carriers from 1,500+ kilometers away.


That’s the history according to a new book from Andrew Erickson, a specialist on the Chinese military at the U.S. Naval War College. The book has wonky title: Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Development: Drivers, Trajectories and Strategic Implications. But it’s the most comprehensive overview of a weapon—the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile—that poses perhaps the greatest threat to American aircraft carriers that’s not a nuclear bomb.


“The bottom line is that the era of ‘ASBM denial’ is over,” Erickson writes. “China’s ASBM is not science fiction. It is not a ‘smoke and mirrors’ bluff. The DF-21D is not an aspirational capability that the United States can afford to ignore until some point in the future.”


Usually, carriers are incredibly tough to kill, sitting far off a coastline and outside the range of whatever most countries can throw at it. Escort ships are prowling for submarine threats, and air-defense missiles and carrier-borne fighter jets scan for enemy bombers that can launch sea-skimming cruise missiles. But a ballistic missile that can target ships can bypass all these defenses while being launched from land at the same time.


There’s still a lot of questions over how effective the DF-21D would be in an actual war—it takes more than just a missile to hit a target with a missile. The missile has been deployed with China’s Second Artillery, which oversees Beijing’s strategic missile arsenal. But Erickson details how China also need satellites, targeting sensors and the ability to defeat whatever electronic countermeasures the U.S. can throw in the missile’s path.


Little did U.S. commanders know at the time of the embassy bombing, however, that it would provoke the most serious arms race since the end of the Cold War.

Roots in Kosovo

According to Erickson, there were two events that pushed Beijing to build its missile.


In 1995, Chinese leaders became very worried when then-Taiwan Pres. Lee Teng-hui prepared to visit the United States. The U.S. granted Teng-hui a visa, which provoked Beijing to carry out a series of missile tests and naval exercises in the Taiwan Strait.


The U.S. responded in kind by sending the Nimitz and Independence carrier battle groups towards China—an intimidating show a force China was unable to counter. According to Chinese military technical papers compiled by Erickson, the humiliation wrought by the carriers accelerated Beijing’s first steps towards an ASBM.


The Chinese navy was more or less useless. Beijing “could not build a steel Great Wall at sea to keep the enemy outside the nation’s door, and could only serve as an auxiliary of the ground forces in defending a trifling twelve nautical mile territorial water line,” China’s Global Times, which is published under the auspices of the People’s Daily, noted.


Then the U.S. bombed the Chinese embassy.


Accidentally, it should be noted. During the 1999 Kosovo War against Serbia, NATO mistakenly believed the Belgrade building contained the Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement—itself believed to be involved in purchasing military hardware. But accident or no, the Chinese embassy was bombed by U.S. aircraft; three Chinese journalists were killed.


Beijing’s generals were furious. But the generals were also anxious. The U.S. attacked Chinese interests without China being able to do anything about it. The embassy bombing was an accident, but what if the U.S. did it again, or somewhere else—and on purpose?


Worse, China’s military wasn’t a whole lot different—technologically speaking—than the Serb military at the time. And the Serb military was being bombed to pieces.


“[The forces of the] Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were always in the position of having to take a beating passively and completely lacked the power to fight back, [not only] because they lacked comprehensive and supporting weapons systems, but especially because they lacked ‘assassin’s mace’ weapons systems,” Zhang Wannian, a preeminent official in the Chinese Central Military Commission, said during a 1999 speech.


The solution, according to Wannian and other Chinese leaders including then-General Secretary Jiang Zemin, was to develop an overlapping defense of submarines, air defense radars and missiles, advanced fighter planes and lots of missiles for sinking American warships—including anti-ship ballistic missiles.


“By this time, it was startlingly clear to China’s leaders that they had to acquire a means of preventing the kind of airpower and accompanying firepower available during the Kosovo air war from being directed into or near China,” Erickson writes.


“Assassin’s mace” is a term used by the Chinese military to describe advanced weapons that match China’s weaknesses—like naval weaknesses—to the strengths of enemy forces.


But still, Navy officials say they can deal with the Chinese missile. The range of potential countermeasures, Erickson notes, are mainly focused around all the other steps a missile has to take before it can hit its target. For China, the missile itself is the easy part: “Physics, however, allows for an ASBM; physics is the same for the Chinese as it is for everyone else. We are witnessing the results today as well as the ability of China’s once-moribund defense industry to integrate existing technologies in innovative ways,” he writes.


But to hit a carrier, you first have to find it while it’s traveling hundreds of miles away from shore. Then you have to make sure the signal is really


  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 11. 2013 16:47


It's scary to think what kinds of weapons militias will have 50-60 years from now, like how they use RPG-7s and AK-47s right now as well as .50 cal browning MGs, if there is another arms race what kinds of weapons will be made that will eventually get into the wrong hands?

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 12. 2013 06:19


The whole of America's military is already in the wrong hands. I think the rest of the world is catching on.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 14. 2013 07:55


Originally Posted by ajb7988

Really the best way to sink a carrier would be with a rail gun. Once you launch the projectile its going to go where its aimed (I hope their aim is better than the aim of some players in this game ;)  ). There is no risk for any countermeasures. The 1500 Km range is 932 miles which really limits where you can fir from. The full range of anti missile tech would be against it as well because their launch locations will be known. Lasers, electonic warfare and not mention the fact that there will be screening destroyers and crusiers with tech that can take the missile down. Really this idea may already be obsolete as I believe the carrier may be going the way of the battleship within the next 100 years (most likely sooner).

The next great step is going to be the militarization of space, which although illegal by internation laws, is coming and is probaly already here. A ship sitting in geo-synch orbit has a firing range of about half the world. Think about having ships sit in orbit and be able to rain down fire on loacations of interest over half the world. These ships would probably be firing rail guns and lasers which, oh ya, the US is developing right now. Dominate space and you dominate the world.

Carriers are currently the best support vessel for land based foces or regional attacks. Soldiers cannot be teleported to an area yet. Although for main defense/offense capacity countrywide, the nuclear submarine has full naval superiority. Lurking under Carriers provides great cover I am sure. When the carrier is destroyed, the submarine then is easily detected by sat and underwater detection devices.
However, as long as a carrier provides above surface counter-measures supplanted by "blinding" efforts from U S Military sats already in space, this provides sufficient cover for submarines with nuclear missle launching capability.

The Chinese (and rest of the world) realize that once the carrier is destroyed, anything under the water can be seen from above. The Chinese already have their own recon/attack planes. Their symbol is a Bat. 

Location verification is made through aerial recon, so even with electronic counter measures/jamming/spoofing,etc..., once spotted a carrier group is flotsam on the water.

Plus the fact that the Chinese have superior electronic capabilities as of this posting. American intelligence has been severely diluted and American products reflect this.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 18. 2013 00:26


Seems like China has been working out some ASAT capabilities:

Obviously China may well deal with military issues in space as well as on the water.

Mysterious actions of satellites have experts guessing China's intentions

A set of three mysterious satellites has experts guessing about the Chinese space program's intentions. No one really knows what the Chinese are up to, and everything is speculation. 


That appears to be the consensus of space experts tracking a set of Chinese spacecraft. Some have speculated that the Chinese are testing possible anti-satellite technology, while others have described the satellites as prosaic probes meant to sharpen the country's overall space skills.


Under debate are the orbital antics of several newcomers to space ? the Chinese satellites Shiyan-7, Chuangxin-3 and Shijian-15 ? which all launched into orbit together on July 20. Experts are also discussing the actions of China's elder spacecraft Shijian-7, which launched more than eight years ago. [Most Destructive Space Weapons Concepts]


One of the trio of new Chinese satellites, Shiyan-7 (SY-7, Experiment 7), has since made a sudden maneuver. That satellite had already finished a series of orbital alterations that put it close to one of the companion satellites with which it was launched, the Chuangxin-3 (CX-3).


"Suddenly, however, it made a surprise rendezvous with a completely different satellite, Shijian 7 (SJ-7, Practice 7), launched in 2005," noted Marcia Smith, a space policy analyst and founder and editor of


'Arming' the heavens?

Soon after the July launch, it was known that one of the three satellites carried "a prototype manipulator arm to capture other satellites," a tool that might be "a predecessor of an arm destined to be aboard China's large space station, set for launch in 2020 or soon thereafter," wrote Bob Christy on ( also reported the news.)

Christy could not confirm at the time which of the three satellites carried that arm. 


When the three satellites were hurled skyward in July, the Chinese language press specifically discussed "space debris observation," "mechanical arm operations" and the testing of "space maintenance technologies," said Gregory Kulacki, a senior analyst and China project manager within the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program.


"This suggests one possible project for the mission is the experimental collection of space debris," Kulacki told


The recent July 20 launch also resembles the lofting of the Changxin 2 and the Shiyan 3 satellites in November 2008, Kulacki said. Changxin 2 was an Earth observation microsatellite, while Shiyan 3 was an experimental spacecraft designed for space weather experiments, he said.


From benign to malign

The mystery surrounding the recent launches fits the Chinese pattern, said Dean Cheng, a research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

"Not sure why these are a surprise, other than that the Chinese don't tell us what they're going to do, so anything they do comes without a convenient press briefing," he said. [China's Shenzhou 10 Space Lab Mission in Pictures]


Close proximity maneuvers, such as that between the two Chinese satellites, are consistent with a range of possibilities, from the benign (docking, refueling and repairs) to the malign (anti-satellite), Cheng told


"But it is perhaps useful here to recall that the People's Republic of China remains intent upon establishing space dominance as part of their thinking about 'fighting and winning local wars under informationized conditions,'" Cheng said. And, even as the Chinese call for greater military-to-military contact with the United States, it's true "that they remain opaque, and that they pretty much refuse to engage the U.S. on military space issues."


That is, while China expands its space capabilities, the country is likely just as interested in military capabilities for their expanding array of space systems as it is in peaceful functions, Cheng said.


"Since space systems are largely dual use, it should not be surprising that there would be interest in the ability to maneuver satellites in close proximity ? but neither should there be blithe assumptions that this is necessarily for solely peaceful ends," Cheng said.


Choice to make

An anti-satellite (ASAT) capability allows a country to render a satellite non-operational, Smith wrote. 


"China conducted an ASAT test in 2007 when it launched a satellite interceptor against one of its own satellites. The test was successful in that it destroyed the satellite, but the resulting cloud of more than 3,000 pieces of space debris in a heavily used part of Earth orbit resulted in international condemnation, and spurred efforts to develop an internationally accepted code of conduct to ensure space sustainability," Smith said

But both China and the United States are experimenting with close-proximity maneuvers in space, said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Stimson Center and director of its South Asia and Space Security programs. Both nations have demonstrated ASAT capabilities, Krepon told


Information derived from actual or purported tests for ballistic missile defense, he said, can also be applied for ASAT purposes.


"Beijing and Washington have a choice to make, the same choice that Moscow and Washington faced during the Cold War," Krepon said.


"Major powers can ramp up a competition to damage satellites, or they can arrive at tacit agreements to dampen this competition," he said. "The United States and the Soviet Union chose wisely. China has yet to choose."


  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    09. 18. 2013 21:32


I doubt the bombing of the embassy was a big factor in the recent Chinese military buildup.

The living standard of the Chinese people has improved hugely over the last few decades.  The people will expect this to continue and for that China needs access to natural resources.  In some cases, trading for them may not be acceptable.  Thus China is already begining to push its neighbors in region around concerning claims to isalnds in the South China Sea.

Some fo these neighbors are long US Allies like Japan and the Phillipines.  I suspect China wants to have military resources necessary to get the neighboring countries to back down in a possilbe future conflict.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    10. 18. 2013 13:46


Originally Posted by Telegraph

In 1999, the U.S. was engaged in an air and missile war with Serbia. As NATO bombs exploded around Belgrade—part of a campaign to force an end to the ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians Muslims by Serb forces—several U.S. missiles slammed into the Chinese embassy. It was the most controversial U.S. action of the war.

Victims of etnic cleansing were not anly Albanians, but also including Bosniaks and Turks. Common point of three is being Muslim.

As a point; DF-21D is not an invention, it's an innovation. Required technologies exist for almost 40 years. But the idea is new.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    10. 18. 2013 20:03


Originally Posted by TG_Salihreis


As a point; DF-21D is not an invention, it's an innovation. Required technologies exist for almost 40 years. But the idea is new.

In any case, it is a step up for China. I am of the old school that the United States was never intended to be the "World's Policeman", yet I am in the minority. The old U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt made it known that it is quite American to "Talk softly, but carry a Big Stick.", which in responsible hands, is well placed.
The statesmen of America's past has been replaced by irresponsible individuals who have no business in the seats of authority or power. However it is BECAUSE of those same types of people we have growing concerns worldwide regarding the sane and sound operation of a world superpower that clearly shows instability and lack of cohesion as well as sanity.

China is doing well to prepare for the eventuality of what may soon turn out to be World War 3.

The really sad part is that voter fraud and political gerrymandering are rampant in the United States to such an extent that concerned Americans are not allowed to obtain or hold political office and set things right. (Unless there is an internal war to successfully remove and contain those currently in power, which is highly unlikely, conditions nationally and globally will only worsen.) Do not let this be compared with the overthrow of government, which entails the full removal of all aspects of governance.  The removal of certain elements is necessary and those empty seats should be filled with citizens of sound mind and desire to adhere to responsible governance.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this to occur though. Whomever is now in control of "The Nuclear Button" is NOT one of us Americans. Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    10. 19. 2013 09:14


This is a great though, except modern aircraft carriers can detect and shoot down missiles with ease, especially large ballistic ones.

  • Re : China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ The DF-21D

    10. 20. 2013 07:32


Originally Posted by mattd3

This is a great though, except modern aircraft carriers can detect and shoot down missiles with ease, especially large ballistic ones.

modern aircraft carriers naval vessels can detect and shoot down missiles with ease

Shooting down a missile, especially something like a DF-21D is not easy at all.