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Can Aegis Stop China’s Carrier Killer Missiles?

by John Reed on January 5, 2011

A Lockheed official today gave a predictably cryptic answer to questions regarding the the ability of the defense giant’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system to protect against China’s DF-21D carrier killer missiles.

“We’re constantly looking at the evolution of our Aegis BMD capability to keep pace with threats,” said Lisa Callahan Lockheed’s vice president in charge of the Aegis program during a Jan. 5 phone call with reporters. “While I can’t talk specifically about the capabilities we have against specific threats…we are definitely working to evolve our system to keep pace with the threats as they evolve.”

Callahan refused to comment when pressed on whether the current Aegis BMD system can protect against the DF-21D.

Wonder how long it will be before we come up with a way of defending our carriers from this system? It may mean developing carrier-borne strike aircraft with longer ranges or adjusting concepts of operation to keep the carriers farther off China’s coast. The latter could mean U.S. Navy and Marine Corps jets would have to refuel more often, fly longer missions and/or carry reduced weapons loads.

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