China may have MaRV-looking sea-launched anti-ship ballistic missile

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BEIJING, ($1=6.45 Chinese Yuans) — It is quite possible that China has armed itself, or will soon arm itself with a sea-launched anti-ship ballistic missile that strongly resembles MaRV, has learned, citing a video showing a vertical missile launch from the Chinese warship Type 055.

Photo credit: YouTube

Maneuverable Reentry Vehicles or MaRV is a ballistic missile that requires active targeting to reach its final destination, although its warhead is capable of autonomously tracking any ground target. However, active targeting is necessary to ensure an accurate hit.

The Chinese rocket fired is a ‘cold-launched’ type with a very short booster, but a strongly elongated payload shape, as well as the presence of fins at the base of the rocket. The missile was launched from a vertical launch system [VLS]. The development of such a Chinese missile has been talked about recently. Its presence means that China is changing the combat capability of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army fleet, as it has been clear so far that Beijing has a similar missile, but fired from a platform on the ground. According to unofficial information, China is trying to develop an air-launching missile of the same type.

Experts suggest that the operational range of the mysterious Chinese missile is not large, mainly due to the short launch vehicle and the optimized design that must keep the missile in the cage for vertical launch. But, even if the range is a few hundred miles, they say, it’s a reasonable compromise and would be helpful, as the targets are still fixed on land. Experts say China has probably turned some shortcomings into an advantage. Such as the limited capabilities of Chinese sensors. “Also, the shorter range would fit with a Chinese flotilla’s organic sensor capabilities for detecting and engaging targets without having to rely on overly complex external datalinks and sensor platforms networks like shore-based medium and long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles rely on,” says Tyler Rogoway in his comment.

Military experts and analysts suggest other possibilities. For example cruise missile of some type, even perhaps an air-breathing hypersonic one. A third possibility is that it is some kind of anti-aircraft weapon. However, it is very impressive that shortly after its launch, the missile takes a maneuver to push into a shallower trajectory. This fact supports one of the claims about the cruise missile.

However, if we look for logic, it points to a hypersonic anti-ship missile rather than an anti-ship ballistic missile. We have seen that in recent years Beijing has invested significant funds in the development of anti-ship missiles at very high speeds.

Whatever the new mysterious missile, it means one thing – China is developing weapons systems to ensure the combat effectiveness of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army fleet. Whether we will see this rocket again, or find out more about it – the unity of time will tell.


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