Beijing mobilises ‘ship-killer’ N-capable DF-26 missiles after US warship spotted in South China Sea

China has started mobilising its ‘ship-killer’ nuclear-capable intermediate-range DF-26 missiles after Chinese security agencies spotted US guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell near Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. 

The US tried to justify the movement of its warship, claiming it was on a “freedom of navigation” (FONOP) mission in the area but Beijing refused to buy Washington’s argument accusing the Americans of trespassing in its territorial waters.

Global Times reported that the DF-26 “ship-killer” missiles with a range of over 5000kms were mobilized by China to the Northwest plateau and desert areas.

These missiles can carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads and target medium and large ships at sea. US naval bases in Guam in the western Pacific Ocean are also within the range of these missiles.

A Chinese defence expert, who wished to remain anonymous, told Global Times that the DF-26 missile has a slow rate of climb after the launch and can be detected by the radar but once it reaches in the later stages it cannot be intercepted easily.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said that aircraft and warships have also been dispatched to warn the US warship.