China has activated new intermediate and long-range missiles capable of precision strikes on medium and large warships.
The domestically developed missiles, which were recently used by a missile brigade of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) rocket force, is capable of nuclear counterattacks, and marks a further development of Chinese artillery's combat capabilities, the China Central Television (CCTV) reported Monday.
It is capable of precision strikes on medium and large targets on land, and similar sized warships at sea, CCTV reported.
This breakthrough means that the missile's reaction time is quicker, and its station-keeping ability is more precise, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global Times.
In recent years, the PLA Rocket Force has been focusing on improving its nuclear counterattack capabilities and medium-to-long range precision strikes. It is more "combat ready, and launches on time and causes serious damage," CCTV said.
Zhang added that China has been developing nuclear counterattack capabilities to prevent possible nuclear threats.
In December 2017, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Ren Guoqiang said that the military upgraded weapons of the rocket force for national defense purposes, and that it does not target any third country.
"The rocket force is the core of China's strategic deterrence, the pillar of China as a great power and the cornerstone of national security. It is normal and necessary for the rocket force to develop and upgrade its weapons. And it's also normal for other countries to modernize their militaries," Ren said.