At the top of my programming guide for Midrats, I have in big red letters "REMEMBER CLASSIFICATION" as sometimes I forget where I am.
Q [Yoichi Kato]: Let me go into China’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. What is the current status of China’s anti-ship ballistic missile development, and how close is it to actual operational deployment?
A [Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command]: The anti-ship ballistic missile system in China has undergone extensive testing. An analogy using a Western term would be “initial operational capability,” whereby it has—I think China would perceive that it has—an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it. It will continue to undergo testing, I would imagine, for several more years.
Q: China has achieved IOC?
A: You would have to ask China that, but as we see the development of the system, their acknowledging the system in open press reporting and the continued testing of the system, I would gauge it as about the equivalent of a U.S. system that has achieved IOC.
Q: Has China already perfected the technology to fly that missile and also the sensor systems for targeting? Has the entire system integration been completed?
A: Typically, to have something that would be regarded as in its early operational stage would require that that system be able to accomplish its flight pattern as designed, by and large.
Q: But they have not conducted the actual flight test or the test to attack moving ships yet, have they?
A: We have not seen an over-water test of the entire system.
Q: But do you believe they already have that capability?
A: I think that the component parts of the anti-ship ballistic missile have been developed and tested.
The fact that we think they are IOC didn't come from thin air or the New York Times. I balked when I read this, but I'm just a retired CDR - I think ADM are a tad smarter than I am, so this was intentional.
PRC ASBM IOC is big news. The interesting question is; why bring it up now?
No shock to regular readers of CDRSalamander --- and neither should this.
Wait; let me read that again - "Anti-access/area denial" is recently coined? Huh? Did today's teenagers just discover s3x?
Q: Is it a bigger threat to the United States than submarines in terms of their A2/AD capabilities?
A: No, I don’t think so. Anti-access/area denial, which is a term that was relatively recently coined, is attempting to represent an entire range of capabilities and capacities that China has developed and that other countries have developed.
That make me sad. Maybe PACOM's Aide needs to make sure he gets more sleep. One less person on the CNO short-list, I guess.
Hat tip Andrew S. Erickson.
UPDATE: Oh, can't believe I forgot to add this. Visuals are good, they tend to focus the mind.