Reach Out and Touch Someone

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Second Artillery Corps, the organization in charge of that army’s ballistic missiles, is not only modernizing its short-range ballistic missile force but also fielding missiles with greater ranges and payloads, according to the Pentagon’s 2012 annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments. The Chinese are “acquiring and fielding greater numbers of conventional medium-range ballistic missiles to increase the range at which it can conduct precision strikes against land targets and naval ships,” states the report, issued on May 18. This includes targeting aircraft carriers operating far from its shore, according to the report. The Second Artillery Corps also continues to expand its production of “large numbers” of advanced ground-launched cruise missiles capable of standoff precision strikes and it is growing the capability of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, states the report. “By 2015, China will also field additional road-mobile DF-31A (CSS10 Mod 2) intercontinental ballistic missiles and enhanced silo-based DF-5 (CSS-4) ICBMs,” it states. The report notes that the Second Artillery Corps does face challenges in integrating new missile systems into its operational portfolio. (China report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also Chinese Anti Access and Area Denial.)