Aircraft carriers such as the USS George Washington supercarrier (pictured) represent the American Navy's most formidable force, able to overwhelm any target on land, in the air, or at sea. Now, the Dong Feng 21D anti-ship missile could change everything.
The Dong Feng 21D is considered to be a new class of weapon, being identified as an ASBM, or anti-ship ballistic missile. If it does what it's supposed to, it'll be the first land-launched missile in the world capable of hitting a moving aircraft carrier from a range of 900 miles. The game-changing nature of this weapon is especially apparent when you consider that China commands a coastline 11,200 miles long, and the 21D could knock out a carrier before it gets into range of the mainland.
So, what's the Navy going to do about it? There's no official response to the Dong Feng just yet, which is itself still an experimental weapon and has not proven its ability to pinpoint a target as small (from 900 miles out at least) as a moving aircraft carrier. The big worry is not so much going up against the weapon in a war with China, but rather fighting an opponent who has purchased a Dong Feng 21D launcher from the country.
Hey, we've still got some time, though. Maybe we'll be able to knock these things out of the sky with, say, a super-huge death ray.