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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

There has been talk of this Chinese anti-ship missile for some years.

Now it would appear to be operational.

It climbs in a very high arc and, when it turns down, an elaborate computer and sensor system guides it to a target.

It reaches a great velocity – many, many times the speed of sound – and the tremendous kinetic energy with which it hits its target makes a warhead almost superfluous.

There are pictures on the Internet of experiments with targets shaped like the decks of flat tops, and the missile punches a big hole right through them.

China is reportedly stationing units of the new ASBM (Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile) along its sea coast.

China with this and other measures is clearly telling the United States that the South China Sea is not an American lake, and rightly so.

Russia, by the way, has another approach to attacking capital ships. Its Sunburn cruise missile travels at several times the speed of sound and weaves unpredictably as it closes in on its target. It is a very effective weapon.

There are yet other new weapons. China has a submarine which entered the space of an American battle group a few years ago and surfaced right in the middle of it undetected by all the American fancy array of electronic gear. The US Navy was said to be horrified at the remarkable feat but has kept quiet about it.

The technologies involved in the submarine – special rubbery coating on its hull and virtually silent screw drives – may well be of Russian design since Russia’s newest submarines are so equipped.

American aircraft carriers grow more vulnerable every day, and, if they are not already doomed in a big war, they will soon be.

A further note, China and Russia both are developing another potentially very deadly weapon, a hypersonic, steerable ram jet vehicle which may be used in various ways, including on top of a missile. China has tested this totally unstoppable weapon at least three times of which I am aware.

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