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Long-Range Missile Deployed To Northwest After U.S. Freedom Of Navigation Op 

Source: South China Morning Post

January 14 2019


The Chinese military has deployed DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles to northwest China following a U.S. freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, reports the South China Morning Post.

Seven trucks carrying DF-26 missiles arrived in the area for training, state-run CCTV reported on Jan. 10.

The government-run Global Times explicitly linked the deployment with recent U.S. freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. 

China considers most of the sea to be its exclusive territory and called the operation a violation of its sovereignty. 

The three-stage, solid-fuel missile is capable of carrying a nuclear or conventional payload and has an estimated range of 2,500 miles (4,000 km). It reportedly entered service in April 2018.

Moving the missiles inland could protect them from the U.S. Navy's SM-6 interceptor missile, which can intercept missiles during the boost and terminal phases, noted the National Interest (Washington, D.C.). 

Chinese experts said that the DF-26 would not be necessary if Beijing wanted to respond to what it considers intrusions. It has already deployed various anti-ship missiles in the region. The deployment was likely intended to enhance training and symbolically respond to the freedom of navigation mission.

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