The threat of a US counter-attack has made the Chinese devise ways to keep them from gaining any foothold like anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) to give any attacking assets a hard time.
One of the threats feared by China is the US Navy that they will engage variable threats that will make the US think twice in this cover devised by the CCP, reported by Defense News.
The Pentagon states the A2/AD strategy will be able to protect the China's People's Liberation Army from air or ground attack from US or Allies in a conflict. Chinese military is avoiding any head-on confrontation in the areas they protect like the Yellow Sea.
This apprehension of foreign incursions has driven them to steal territory and claim areas from the first island chain, also the Western Pacific. They are using longer-range missiles with satellites for tracking and aiming from space.
Way back 2016, the Union of Concerned Scientists in the US, warned the number of Chinese satellites placed in orbit. Many of them are used by various entities that are connected to the CCP and for civilian or military.
Chinese satellites may have payloads that are for offensive purposes like electro-optical sensors, synthetic aperture radar and electronic intelligence technology which are all for spying. China has satellites that keep monitoring the south China sea and waters around China. Their main purpose is to target, track, and integrate all weapons with a clear sight picture for accurate hitting of targets.
DF-21D, China's answer to its fear of US carriers
Its purpose is to attack ships on the move, especially the US aircraft carrier that the PLA believe is vulnerable to fast missiles travelling at Mach 5 plus, which is hard to counter the DF-21 missile, as defined by Business Insider.
To enable the best mobility, they'll do a mobile launch system that can be moved to survive a cluster attack on PLA bases. Their range is 780 nautical miles with several load-out of nuclear or conventional warheads used by the PLA Rocket Force.
US Defense Department thinks the DF-21D will be operational by 2010 with a manoeuvrable reentry vehicle, including satellite guidance that utilizes radar and visual imaging to reach its target.
There are questions whether it will perform well on fix targets, but how it can hit a mobile target accurately is not sure. Many doubts exist if it can perform as well as claimed.
A sensor network should be capable of the keeping watch on a large area, but the Chinese network cannot so chokepoints at the Miyako Strait and the Bashi Channel where most ships pass. China's space eyes in the sky cannot equal more advanced surveillance nets, possessed by western nations, reported by Naval News.
One short-coming of aircraft from aircraft carriers is they need refuelling in the mid-air for extended range. It seems better to keep the planes away and their carriers are what is needed like what A2/AD does.
Besides the DF-21D, anti-ship ballistic missiles like the YJ-12 and YJ-18 that is used to knock ship at longer ranges. Both can fly from Mach 2 to 4, whether it is launch or cruise altitudes.
The YJ-12 and YJ-18 can fly at speeds of between Mach 2 and Mach 4, depending on launch and cruise altitudes, including a range of 108 to 290 nautical miles for both, reported Andrew Erickson.
According to sources, a new air-to-air missile is under development but nothing is final yet.