Air Defense: U.S. Navy Hurries Preparations for War With China
July 12, 2013: The U.S. Navy has asked missile manufacturers to quickly design and build them a target drone that will simulate sub-sonic Chinese anti-ship missiles. Previously the U.S. Navy had spent a lot of effort developing and building similar drones to simulate super-sonic anti-ship missiles. Apparently someone did the math and realized that the most likely near-term opponents (China, North Korea or Iran) all had a lot of Chinese sub-sonic missiles. China sells a lot of these C-801 and C-802 anti-ship missiles. The C-801 is 5.81 meters (18 feet) long, 360mm in diameter, has a max range of 42 kilometers and weighs 636 kg (1,400 pounds) each. The C-801 is similar to the French Exocet, and is believed to have been based on that missile. An improved C0801 is the C802A which is a 6.8m (21 foot) long, 360mm diameter, 682kg (1,500 pound) missile, with a 165kg (360 pound) warhead. The C802 has a max range of 120 kilometers, and moves along at about 250 meters a second.
These long range anti-shipp missles force the Navy’s Aircraft Carriers to be prepared to strike China / Asian targets from even farther out at sea. In order to do so, the range of the strike aircraft must increase thus, the X-47B and those aircraft like it, to follow.