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Sizzling…

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Via Danger Room, interesting Bloomberg article about the Russian-built Chinese-operated “Sizzler” missile. The Sizzler approaches its target at supersonic speed then arches right before hitting. Apparently, the USN has no defense:

The Navy doesn’t have a test target that can mimic how the Sizzler flies. They haven’t even “picked a contractor to develop the test target,” Capaccio notes. Industry proposals for building the target missile were received in February and a contract valued at about $107 million will be awarded by Oct. 1 for a 54-month development phase and first fielding by 2014.”

The 3M-54 carries either a 200kg or 400kg warhead, and can be fired by submarine from a range of 200km+. That’s almost certainly not enough to kill a US carrier, but it could probably end flight operations. In a wartime scenario, this would have the effect of pushing US carriers farther from Taiwan, and would put a premium on the ability of the USN to identify and destroy Chinese submarines before they can approach. And this latter would be a very difficult job…

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