CHINA has unveiled a terrifying new hybrid missile it’s claimed can take out an entire airfield with a single shot.
The 1000lb weapon has the ability to destroy an area of 64,000 square feet by releasing hundreds of bomblets, a report on state television has said.
A Chinese military expert has said the bomb is aimed at taking out Taiwan’s airfields ahead of an invasion of the island.
The weapon is a cross between an air-to-ground missile and a guided bomb droppable by an aircraft
Weighing 1,102 lbs, the weapon has been formally classified as a “guided glide dispenser bomb”.
When dropped, the dispenser can open its wings for a range of over 37 miles, meaning an aircraft can safely drop it without entering the enemy’s air defence zone.
Chinese state media is highlighting new weapons as the country’s navy conducts live-fire drills in the South China Sea.
China Central Television (CCTV) said that its design can also reduce the weapon’s radar cross-section, enhancing its stealth capability.
Each dispenser can carry 240 submunitions of six types which can cover a large area, according to CCTV.
According to the state-run Global Times newspaper, Chinese military analysts said that war breaks out with Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army would aim destroy the island’s airfields.
Weapons such as the one unveiled can disable an airfield for an extended period with only one shot, because the sheer number of submunitions means the whole runway will be destroyed, a military expert told the paper.
It is possible that some of the submunitions will be mines, which will make attempts to repair the runway very risky, the unnamed expert said.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has long threatened to use force to bring it under its control.
Taiwan has itself been upgrading its weapons and has recently fitted new anti-ship missiles to F-16 fighters as the PLA has reportedly been simulating the invasion of islands it controls.
The hybrid missile is made by the China Ordnance Industries Group Corporation Limited, officially abbreviated as Norinco, a state-owned defence corporation that manufactures a diverse range of civil and military products.
It can also be used on vehicles, with an ability to penetrate tank armour.
However some media reports claimed that the “dispenser bomb” is another word for a cluster bomb, outlawed under the international treaty Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Cluster munitions are banned because they release many small bombs over a wide area, posing a risk to civilians both during the attack and afterwards.
They are also said to leave behind large numbers of dangerous unexploded ordnance.
One Chinese internet user said: “It’s banned as it releases many small bomblets over a wide area, posing risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards.
“Cluster munitions are prohibited for those nations that ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008.”