May 04, 2024

China has a lot more missiles — with US warships and bases in its sights

Source: Business Insider

Journalist: Chris Panella

The "dramatic expansion" of the Chinese missile arsenal, especially MRBMs and IRBMs, is designed to threaten US forces and allies across the Indo-Pacific region, Thomas Shugart, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a retired US Navy submarine officer, said.


After the Pentagon's latest report on China's military power came out, Shugart suggested the sheer number of DF-26s and launchers could turn the missile into a generic "ship killer," available for strikes on not just high-value carriers but also destroyers, cruisers, amphibious assault ships, fleet oilers, and more.

And China doesn't have to sink a ship to score a combat kill. Damaged vessels would have to limp back home, where US repair and maintenance woes could mean a slow recovery.


PLARF may be, as Shugart has said, the "crown jewel" of the Chinese military, but it's not without its limitations. Recent high-profile cases of corruption across the army, in particular in PLARF, have raised questions about how widespread graft may be — and whether that's affecting readiness in the short term.

US intelligence has documented several cases of supposed corruption, including missiles filled with water rather than rocket fuel and problematic silos. Military leadership shake-ups, too, have sparked concerns, as many senior officers and bigwig defense leaders were replaced with little to no explanation.

Read the full story and more from Business Insider.


  • Tom Shugart

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Thomas Shugart is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on undersea warfare and maritime com...