China’s ballistic missile system for targeting aircraft carriers

China’s ballistic missile system for targeting aircraft carriers

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With its onboard radar, the missile can track and strike an aircraft carrier.China: China has established a novel system for using land-based ballistic missiles to deter America's powerful nuclear-powered aircraft carriers from coming anywhere near its coast, says a team of Indian analysts. A constellation of satellites and at least one over-the-horizon radar give its Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) system the capability to work out the position of US aircraft carriers at sea, according to assessments published by researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. Land-based ballistic missiles, carrying maneuverable warheads with conventional munitions, if needed, could target the aircraft carriers at a distance of about 2,000 km.

The ASBM had shaken the traditional view of the US Navy’s unassailable superiority in the Pacific. The system will serve as a credible deterrent against American intervention in China's maritime disputes, of which it has several with its Asian neighbours. China's constellation of Yaogan military satellites includes those for electronic intelligence (ELINT) gathering that detect radio signals and other electronic emissions from an aircraft carrier and its associated warships. China currently has three clusters of ELINT satellites that provide global surveillance. In each cluster, there are three satellites that maintain a triangular formation in orbit and can locate ships producing radio signals with an accuracy of 25 km to 100 km. The Yaogan constellation also includes radar satellites as well as satellites with optical sensors that can establish the position of the aircraft carriers with much greater accuracy. In the course of a single day, the current Yaogan constellation can provide about 16 targeting opportunities for ballistic missile launches when the uncertainty in an aircraft carrier's position will be less than 10 km.

Source: The Hindu