Chinese researchers from North China University have revealed the results of a shocking war game, which determined that China would require the use of 24 hypersonic missiles to sink the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group.
This detailed study yielded concrete data and was replicated by various media in the region, generating great repercussions.
The results of the war game
The report notes that to achieve the destruction of the US carrier strike group, China would need to employ a total of 24 hypersonic missiles.
This simulation was repeated 20 times to obtain more accurate and reliable results. The information contained in the report was replicated by important media outlets in the region, such as the Asia Times and the South China Morning Post, generating wide interest and debate on China’s military capabilities.
The simulation scenario
During the war game, various simulations were designed to neutralize a naval formation using different types of hypersonic missiles. The primary target was the USS Gerald R. Ford, considered the most modern aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, accompanied by the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto and four Arleigh Burke Flight IIA-class destroyers.
The simulation scenario placed the carrier and its escort in the vicinity of an island in the South China Sea. The Chinese forces, with the purpose of counteracting a possible offensive action by the US naval group, resorted to three waves of hypersonic missiles, launching a total of 24 projectiles to achieve the destruction of the US ships.
The hypersonic missiles used
Although the report does not specify the missile models used, it is mentioned that these hypersonic missiles had ranges of 2,000 and 4,000 kilometers, with hit probabilities of 80% and 90%, respectively. It is speculated that the DF-17 and DF-27 missiles could have been part of the simulations, as they have been highlighted in recent reports due to their successful performance and high-speed flight capability.
The DF-17 missile, with an approximate weight of 15 tons and a length of 11 meters, is propelled by solid fuel and is transported by a 10×10 truck. On the other hand, the DF-ZF hypersonic vehicle has an estimated range of more than 1,900 kilometers, reaching speeds of Mach 5-10 and possessing the ability to perform extreme maneuvers during flight.
The attack strategy
Chinese investigators assumed that the People’s Liberation Army would not have a satellite-based targeting system or a limited number of hypersonic missiles. Under these premises, the initial attack consisted of eight lower-capacity hypersonic missiles launched from southern and central China, possibly of the DF-17 type. This first action would have exhausted the 264 interceptor missiles of the American cruise and destroyers.
Subsequently, a second wave was carried out with eight “more reliable” hypersonic missiles, possibly of the DF-27 type, launched from north and west China. Four of these missiles were directed toward the USS Gerald Ford, while the other four targeted the destroyer Arleigh Burke. Lastly, due to their high defense capabilities, a third wave was deployed to eliminate the surviving escorts, particularly the destroyers Arleigh Burke.
The saturation strategy
Although precise details about the time intervals between attacks and the involvement of other means of detection or complementary means were not provided, it can be inferred that the simulated attacks were of the saturation type. The strategy consisted of taking advantage of the capabilities of hypersonic missiles to evade the defensive system of the cruiser and destroyers, which included advanced technologies such as the AEGIS system and SM-3 interceptors.
These war games become relevant in the context of the growing tension between China and various countries in the region, particularly about the island of Taiwan.
Simulations have also been conducted by the United States, Japan, and other allies to assess the results of a possible Chinese invasion, and the trials have revealed considerable losses for both sides, albeit with more significant difficulties for the defense of Taiwan.
A hypersonic missile is a type of projectile that can reach speeds greater than five times the speed of sound.
While precise details were not provided, there is speculation that the DF-17 and DF-27 missiles could have been part of the simulations.
The results of this war game sparked intense debate about China’s military capabilities and posed new challenges to other nations’ defensive systems.
The development and deployment of hypersonic missiles have become a central issue in the military arena due to their ability to evade traditional defense systems and hit targets at long distances.