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China unveils anti-ship version of its DF-26 missile.

| 2019

China has strengthened its ballistic capabilities, by increasing its Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) forces with the development of an anti-ship variant of the Dong Feng 26 (DF-26), to deny access to its maritime zones to the US forces. It is part of a Chinese stategy that includes the expansion of the maritime zones secured by China.

China unveils anti ship version of its DF 26 missile Dong Feng 26 medium range anti-ship, ballistic missile (Picture source : Perspectives Med)

As part of this ballistic power expansion, China has recently tested an anti-ship version of its Dong Feng 26 (DF-26), just a few days after some US combat vessels went through Taiwan detroit. Both countries increase their presence near Taiwan, China to ensure its domination on Taiwan and the US to reaffirm its support to its Taiwanese ally.

The DF-26 is a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) able to precisely reach targets from 3,500 to 4,000 km away. This variant of the missile is capable of hitting moving large vessels up to 2,200 km away. Therefore, some may call this variant of the Dong Feng a "carrier killer", destined to sink US aircraft carriers, which may frighten US officers and decision-makers about sending troops in the South East China Sea.

Yet, few details are known about this missile, but it is believed to be solid-fuelled and road-mobile, allowing it to be stored in underground bunkers and fired at short notice, hence difficult to counter. It is possible that the DF-26C is a follow-up version of the DF-21. Possible warheads include conventional, nuclear or even maneuverable anti-ship and hypersonic warheads.

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