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Could China Wipe Out U.S. Aircraft Carriers?

Former Navy intelligence specialist D.M. McCauley explores the Chinese threat to America's largest ships.

As a result of extensive action in World War II, aircraft carriers are often seen as the capital ships of modern Navies. However as the geopolitical situation continues to evolve, their role in modern warfare is increasingly being questioned, writes McCauley for Task & Purpose.

China develops supersonic anti-aircraft carrier missile

Of particular concern is the progress being made by the Chinese armed forces. China has developed a ballistic missile known as the DF-21D, adapted to destroy aircraft carriers.

“China has expended vast time and resources determining how to kill US carriers, which suggests that the Chinese military takes carrier capabilities seriously,” wrote Robert Farley, assistant professor at Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. “The USN is very concerned about the DF-21D, which is one reason it’s working so hard on ship-borne anti-ballistic missile technology. The USN is also working on other countermeasures, including strikes on DF-21 launch sites at the onset of war (potentially delivered from nuclear cruise missile submarines), and electronic warfare.”

Some believe that the supersonic DF-21 could threaten aircraft carriers, just as torpedoes made heavy battleships vulnerable. As torpedoes eventually made battleships obsolete, the same may eventually be said of the DF-21 and aircraft carriers.

Can aircraft carriers be protected against China?

Some aircraft carrier detractors say...


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