China's successful test of a new type of guided missile in the Bohai Sea killed two birds with one stone, experts told the Global Times, as the launch shows China can attack both aircraft carriers and the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system deployed in South Korea.
"To judge from the missile remains disclosed by media, it was a DF-26 that was tested recently, also known as the 'aircraft carrier killer' missile," Song Zhongping, a military expert who used to serve in the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times
"Considering the type of missile and the test location it is evident that we conducted a firing experiment targeting aircraft carriers, and the warhead possibly featured an electromagnetic pulse that could destroy a carrier's command system, as well as the THAAD system," Song noted.
When asked if the test's location in the Bohai Sea, close to the Korean Peninsula, could show that the test was specifically aimed at Seoul's THAAD deployment, Song said that this is unlikely as Bohai is China's usual weapons testing ground, unlike the South and East China Seas where experiments could be difficult as the waters contain various nations' Exclusive Economic Zones and international waters.
A statement from the Information Bureau of China's Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday confirmed that Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile in the Bohai Sea.
The statement said the test was conducted in accordance with the annual training plan to "raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security," the statement said.
"The test achieved the expected result," said the statement, without disclosing its exact date.