Ballistic Bombast

Aviation Week – China may be able to take out an American aircraft carrier with its feared DF-21 antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) without even taking a shot. Now some powerful people in DC are looking to reduce the fleet by a carrier or two in the belief that the DF-21 will make it too dangerous for the ships even to get close to Chinese territorial waters.

When Eagle Meets Dragon: Managing Risk in Maritime East Asia

Real Clear Defense – On 19 August 2014 a U.S. Navy (USN) P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft was flying in international airspace above the Chinese exclusive economic zone (EEZ) ~135 miles east of Hainan Island in the South China Sea when a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) armed J-11 fighter intercepted it. In a series of maneuvers that came within 30 feet of the P-8, the J-11 exposed its weapons load out and conducted a barrel roll over the U.S. aircraft, passing within 45 feet of the U.S. aircraft. While the incident ended without a collision or harm to the aircrew, it invoked memories of another that did not end as well—the April 2001 collision between a USN EP-3 and a PLAN J-8 in which the Chinese pilot perished.

Confirmed: China Deploys New ‘Carrier Killer’ Missile

The Diplomat – The most striking revelation of the 2015 ONI report is that the PLAN has apparently already equipped a class of guided missile destroyers with China’s most advanced supersonic anti-ship missile. “[T]he newest class, the LUYANG III destroyer is fitted with the new vertically-launched YJ-18 ASCM,” the report says.

China’s Naval Modernization: The Implications of Seapower

World Politics Review – After years of invitations that Beijing did not accept, coupled with last year’s cancellation of the event due to sequestration, the head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, led a nine-officer delegation to this year’s International Seapower Symposium. Participants in the plenary and regional breakout sessions no doubt wondered who exactly Wu is, what mandate he has, what sort of navy he leads, where it is heading and how it will be interacting with the U.S. Navy. This article addresses these timely questions.

Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting A Modern War

War on the Rocks – The introduction of new weapons and platforms into the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has captured the attention of much of the world for well over a decade. However, new equipment is only one element of the PLA’s long-term, multi-dimensional modernization process. There is much to be done and no one understands this better than the Chinese themselves. Based on what PLA commanders and staff officers write in their internal newspapers and journals, the force faces a multitude of challenges in order to close the perceived gaps between its capabilities and those of advanced militaries.

China’s Blue Soft Power

US Naval War College Review – This article explores the soft-power dimension of China’s far-seas anti piracy operations. It addresses the extent to which Gulf of Aden deployments might increase the PLAN’s prospects for cooperation with other navies and also the impact of these missions on the role the navy plays within China’s larger diplo- macy. Finally, it assesses how these deployments might shape future Chinese naval development.