Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
16 April 2018
Also Known As: Dongfeng-26 and Guam killer
Parent System: DF-26
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 16 April 2018
Maiden Flight: 2014
Total Production: 22
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Description: The DF-26 is an hypersonic, long-range anti-ship missile developed on the basis of the DF-21 medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) to engage heavily protected aircraft carrier's battle group equipped with advanced missile defenses at ranges up to 3,000 kilometers. The DF-26 weapon is fired like a ballistic missile but carrying an hypersonic warhead/glider that flies at a cruise speed of Mach 10 at an altitude between 50 to 100 kilometers. The ballistic missiles plus the glider trajectory layout provide an estimated range of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers. The DF-26 is deployed on a wheeled platform and may be fitted with a nuclear warhead. The existence of the DF-26 and DF-25 ballistic missiles equipped with hypersonic gliders was revealed in January 2014.
The DF-26 like the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile requires the support of sophisticated Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities involving a wide range of air, ground, sea and space platforms for the accurate geo-location of the target. The new anti-ship missile is a key component of China's extended anti-access policy which would provide preemptive and coercive options in a regional crisis having the longest range of any anti-ship weapon worldwide. The new weapon might hit US aircraft carriers trying to support Taiwan forcing them to stay off at ranges where their aircraft can not engage with Chinese forces or bomb Chinese targets.
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