New missile 'ready by 2015': Global Times
Soldiers on Chinese missile frigate "Zhoushan" wave to see off China's sixth naval escort flotilla in the Gulf of Aden November 24, 2010. China's seventh naval escort flotilla began its escort mission on Wednesday. Photo：Xinhua
The Chinese army is researching a new type of conventional missile that is set to be weaponized and entered into active service within five years, military sources have revealed.
China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the nation's largest missile weaponry manufacturer, is set "to complete research, production and delivery of this new generation of missile by 2015," the China NewsService reported Thursday.
The new missile would be part of a network forming a solid defense system allowing for total coverage in both defense and attack, and capable of dealing with various threats from land, sea, air, space as well as cybernetic attacks, according to the report.
The report, however, did not provide any further details of the new missile.
A military source close to the development, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to the Global Times yesterday that "The subject under development is a medium- and long-range conventional missile with a traveling distance of as far as 4,000 kilometers."
"The research is going smoothly, and the missile will be produced and ready for service in five years," he said, noting that the project would also entail a three-year evaluation period.
"It extends the range of China's missiles and will therefore greatly enhance the national defense capabilities," the source said.
The source also unveiled that "the Chinese-made Dong Feng 21D missile, with firing range between 1800 and 2800 kilometers, is already deployed in the army."
Foreign media have also speculated that the Dong Feng 21D is a "carrier killer" and would prove to be a game-changer in the Asian security environment, where US Navy aircraft carrier battle groups have ruled the waves since the end of World War II, the AP reported.
China debuted its first stealth fighter jet, the J-20, in January, in a test flight that coincided with a visit to Beijing by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Following the successful test flight, speculations and assessments of Beijing's military advancement echoed around the world.
By Zhang Han and Huang Jingjing,Global Times