Bloomberg: China's Supersonic Ship Killer Is Making U.S. Navy's Job Harder
* YJ-18 can accelerate to three times speed of sound near target
* Missile will be harder to detect and hit with on-board guns
Increased interactions between the the Chinese and U.S. navy in the contested South China Sea risk becoming more complicated by the increasingly sophisticated missiles being carried by submarines.
A new report to the U.S. Congress assessing a Chinese submarine-launched missile known as the YJ-18 highlights the danger, noting the missile accelerates to supersonic speed just before hitting its target, making it harder for a crew to defend their ship.
Defense chiefs from several countries in Southeast Asia have warned in recent months of the danger of undersea “clutter” as countries build up submarine fleets and the U.S. challenges China over its claim to a large swath of the South China Sea. This week’s U.S. patrol inside the 12-nautical mile zone that China claims around its man-made islands in the waters saw the USS Lassen shadowed by two Chinese naval vessels.
WNU Editor: This is China's way of sending a warning to the U.S. on what would be the consequences if there is a conflict in the South China Sea.