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China touts capabilities of DF-26 as ASBM

Images broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) of the locally designed and developed Dong Feng-26 (DF-26) intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) during recent exercise firings show that the missile is highly manoeuvrable and “capable of targeting a moving aircraft carrier”, according to a 27 January report by the state-owned Global Times newspaper.

CCTV footage showing a PLARF DF-26 IRBM TEL deployed and ready to fire. (Via CCTV )

CCTV footage showing a PLARF DF-26 IRBM TEL deployed and ready to fire. (Via CCTV )

The Global Times report, which showed images of the missile’s guidance and warhead section, focuses on the scepticism that has been expressed by some Western analysts concerning the missile’s capability to effectively function as an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) because no evidence has emerged of it being trialled against a moving target at sea.

Quoting “military experts”, the report states that the recent exercise “demonstrated the missile’s capability” and that the four control fins around the nose section “provide super manoeuvrability” so that “the missile can greatly adjust its position mid-flight to accurately attack a moving aircraft carrier”. However, no details were provided of the missile’s flight nor the target it engaged.

An unnamed source was quoted in the article as stating that “an information network connected to the warhead, which possibly includes satellites, ground, and naval radar, in addition to radar on the missile itself, will constantly update the location of a moving target, informing flight control where to guide the missile”.

On 9 January the Global Times

CCTV footage showing a PLARF DF-26 IRBM being readied for firing. (Via CCTV )

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