Developments in missile defense and defense related space races

September 1, 2011

China is developing both advanced technologies and asymmetric doctrines to challenge US dominance in the upper atmosphere and orbital geopolitical spheres.  The Diplomat reports on recent Chinese advances in developing a ballistic missile defense shield, which was noted as a cause for attention in the recent US Department of Defense report on China.   Russia is also building its own missile defense shield, and is offering it European nations as an alternative to a US system, while at the same time pressuring those nations to reject that system and even to ban US Navy ships that carry such systems from their waters.

Concurrent with the Pentagon China report, Taiwan also issued its own annual report on the capabilities of the Chinese military last month.  Naval War College scholar and China expert Andrew Erickson has an early, rough translation of this report, and this section that he highlights is alarming:

Under the guidance to “balance nuclear and conventional,” the PLA has continued the development of independently targetable intercontinental range ballistic missiles, strengthened strategic nuclear intimidation, nuclear counter strike and conventional precision strike capabilities, and deployed anti-ship middle range ballistic missiles (DF-21D guided missile), which is a weapon developed to strike aircraft carriers; a small quantity of the missiles were produced and deployed in 2010, increasing the difficulty of military maneuvers in the region for the U.S. Army.

Erickson also has an important post on relative US and Chinese space power.  While the US retains a very large lead in space based assets, China is both catching up rapidly and also developing relatively inexpensive asymmetric capabilities that can destroy or disrupt the very expensive US systems.  Erickson is generally speaking essential reading on China (his site is permanently linked under the Foreign Policy and Strategy links section on the right side of this page), and this post in particular is informative.  Go read the whole thing.


One comment

  1. […] we wrote about Chinese and Russian advances in their ballistic missile defense systems.  Today comes word that Turkey will host a NATO missile […]

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