MISSILE THREATS GROW AND GROW
China and Russia have been developing new missiles that could not only threaten the United States, but some could also be flaunting arms-control treaties. The threats include both cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, issued the warning about China’s during a security conference in Aspen, Colorado. General Martin Dempsey also spoke at the conference last week, where he stated the United States was planning to take down the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
During a speech, Greenert said, “They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed.” Greenert particularly expressed concern over the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, which has a range of 930 miles. The DF-21D could be countered by the RIM-161 SM-3 missile, but that would take up cells in the Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The growing ChiCom arsenal of missiles could place American bases on Guam and Okinawa at risk of attack. China has been acquiring new ships, and its fleet of H-6 Badger bombers are being upgraded to carry as many as a half-dozen cruise missiles.
Russia, however, has not been standing still. According to a report by National Review Online, two new Russian missiles, the RS-26 Rubezh, and the Iskander K, are being developed – and both are blatant violations of the INF Treaty signed in 1987. The treaty bans all land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers (300 to 3,300 miles).
The 9K270 Iskander M is capable of flying at speeds up to Mach 7, and can deliver a 700-kilogram high-explosive warhead against targets as far away as 250 miles. The Iskander K reportedly has been tested at unidentified ranged that would violate the treaty. The RS-26 was reportedly tested with a single warhead at a range of 5,600 kilometers, but when additional warheads are added, the missile’s range decreases to those proscribed by the treaty.