As part of its ongoing military drills around Taiwan, China has fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles and deployed some of its most advanced naval vessels to waters around Taiwan.
On Thursday afternoon, China’s armed forces fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan’s northern, southern and eastern parts. Taiwan’s defense ministry confirmed the launches, but did not release details on their trajectories.
The missiles are believed to belong to the Dongfeng family of short, medium and long range ballistic missiles. Originally based on Soviet technology, the family now includes advanced hypersonic missiles.
Former deputy commander of Taiwan’s air force, Chang Yan-ting, says this type of missile, especially Dongfeng-17, show China’s long range firepower. Dongfeng-17 are hypersonic missiles, which cannot be intercepted by existing technology used by the world’s militaries. That also includes the United States.
Besides missiles that could hit aircraft carriers and other naval vessels, satellite imagery captured what is believed to be the silhouette of China’s Type 055 stealth guided missile destroyer.
Former deputy commander Chang says this type of destroyer is larger than what Taiwan has at its disposal. With a displacement of over 11,000 tons, it is getting close to the cruiser category of vessels.
China calls its Type 055, equipped with anti air, anti ballistic and anti naval weapon systems, the most powerful naval vessel in its arsenal. Its real capabilities are difficult to gauge, but one of its aims may be to create psychological pressure in Taiwan.