JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

China’s ‘Anti-ship Ballistic Missile’ based Anti-access Concept: Implications of a Southward Re-orientation

Commander Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri is a Research Fellow with the China Cell of the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi.
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  • January 2013
    Volume: 
    7
    Issue: 
    1
    Focus

    The Chinese efforts towards actualization of the ‘offshore defense’ concept which entails the conduct of campaigns in distant waters, strategic deterrence and counterattacks, has an inherent risk of bringing its naval forces on a confrontational course vis-à-vis other maritime forces, particularly the US. To defend itself against overarching US maritime superiority in such a scenario, China has developed its Anti-access and Area Denial (A2AD) concept, predicated mainly around the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. The inherently defensive Anti-access concept against the US in the western Pacific has the potential to transform into an offensive option for the northern Indian Ocean, should it undergo a southward reorientation. Situational assessment of such a possibility would provide an insight into the technological challenges which could be posed to the security of the resident northern Indian Ocean littorals. The possibility of such a challenge emerging in future should catalyse a vigorous maritime cooperative endeavour between commonly affected parties operating in the region.

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