Chinese military expert Du Wenlong said in a recent interview with CCTV that Japan’snew surface-to-ship missile (SSM), which has a range of 300 kilometers, will hardly serve its purpose in real battle, pointing out that the weapon’s threat is only theoretical.
According to U.S. defense news site RCD, Japan’s new missiles are scheduled to be deployed to the Miyako and Yaeyama island chains in the southern part of Okinawa prefecture in 2023, enclosing China’s Diaoyu Islands in their combat radius. If Japan deploys the new missiles to the 270-kilometer-wide Miyako Strait, the country will be able to seal the channel and expand its firing range to the Diaoyu Islands and even Taiwan, as well as northeastern coastal areas.
RDC commented that the increase in Japan’s offensive capability could be a double-edged sword for the U.S. If the RCD report is true, the new missiles will not only pose a threat to the Diaoyu Islands, but will also threaten certain activities of the Chinese Navy and AirForce, said Du. Japan already deployed Type 88 SSM to the Miyako Islands in 2013. With double the former combat radius, the new missiles are able to strike targets in more remote areas.
However, Du believes such threats are only theoretical, and the weapon is unlikely to do much in an actual battle. Publicly deployed on fixed islands, missile bases can be destroyed in war. In addition, some Chinese Air Force aircraft are able to disturb the missiles’ radar and electronic reconnaissance systems. Meanwhile, mid- to long-range airborne weapons are also capable of precise strikes to the missiles.