GlobalTimes reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force recently conducted a series of exercises with the “aircraft carrier killer” DF-26 ballistic missile at night, and while related techniques are challenging, they can bring many advantages on the battlefield. A missile brigade affiliated with the PLA Rocket Force recently organized an exercise at midnight, featuring training courses like multi-wave mock fire strike and transferring and loading of missiles.
After launching a first wave of missile strikes, the troops received orders to relocate, reload and start a second wave of strikes. The drills also simulated a hostile attack on a launch position, and the troops had to maneuver to a backup launch location. Reloading requires troops to be accurate and shorten the time as much as possible despite low visibility at night to win more opportunities for succeeding maneuvers and fire strikes on the battlefield.
The Dong-Feng 26 (DF-26, East Wind-26) is an intermediate-range ballistic missile deployed by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force and produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). US officials subsequently assessed that the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) had fired four medium-range ballistic missiles in total. The missile tests drew criticism from Japan, the Pentagon and Taiwan and led to volatility in Asian markets.
The DF-26 has a range of over 5,000 km (3,100 mi) and may conduct precision nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets. It is China’s first conventionally-armed ballistic missile capable of reaching Guam and the American military installations located there; this has led to the missile being referred to by netizens as the “Guam Express” or “Guam Killer”. The ambiguity of whether or not a DF-26 unit has conventional or nuclear warheads makes it risky for an adversary to target these missiles in a first strike.