In a rare move, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force displayed 10 DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles in a recent video, as China reaffirmed the weapon’s capability of attacking medium- to large-sized vessels.
The 10 DF-21D missiles can be seen erected into launch positions in a promotional video of the PLA Rocket Force, Weihutang, a column on the military affiliated with China Central Television, reported on Wednesday.
This type of weapon can serve as a trump card in naval asymmetrical combat, as it is capable of attacking medium- to large-sized vessels from land, the report said.
It is rare to see so many DF-21Ds gathered together, and 10 could be enough to do serious damage to a hostile aircraft carrier, military observers said.
Together with the DF-21D, China’s DF-26 ballistic missile can reach targets even further at sea, according to reports.
The Weihutang report came after an unidentified flying object was spotted across multiple Chinese provinces on Sunday, as the PLA Rocket Force and Navy hinted on Monday evening that it may have been a Chinese submarine-launched ballistic missile test.
Analysts said that both events are demonstrations of China’s strategic deterrence capability and determination to safeguard territorial integrity amid recent US military provocations in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea.