China and Russian fires 3 Missiles to sink Two US Carriers Sailing in South China Sea
In August, China launched two ballistic missiles that, according to a Chinese military expert, hit a moving target ship in the South China Sea thousands of miles from their launch sites.
If true, the test — which came a month after the US deployed two carrier strike groups to the region and a day after a US U-2 spy plane observed a Chinese navy live-fire drill — is the first known demonstration of China's long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles against a moving target.
"We are doing this because of their provocation," Wang Xiangsui, a former Chinese colonel and professor at Beijing's Beihang University, reportedly said in reference to the deployments, calling the test "a warning to the US."
Not to be outdone, the Russian navy conducted its third test launch of the Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile in the White Sea in December. Launched from a frigate, the missile reached a speed of Mach 8 before hitting a "coastal target" more than 200 miles away.
The tests are just the latest indication that American aircraft carriers, long viewed as kings of the seas, may soon face a real threat to their existence.
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and other US Navy ships during a passing exercise with the Indian navy in 2012. US Navy Photo
America's carriers have always been among the biggest targets for rivals. While the Soviets publicly lambasted carriers as "the oppressor of national liberation movements," they recognized them as a dominant weapon platform.
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