The Economic Times reports China is increasing its conventional missile capability to carry out multiple launches, the one tactic that could overwhelm a Navy ship’s defenses and cripple its abilities.
Tan Weihong, Commander of China’s Second Artillery Force says, “Conventional missiles are a trump card in modern warfare. So we must be ready at any time. We must be able to deliver a quick response to attacks, hit the targets with high accuracy, and destroy them totally. Of the 114 missiles [our brigade] has launched so far, all have accurately hit the target.”
For each incoming missile a U.S. Navy ship will have to perform some variation of the following actions:
First it will launch a long-range air defense missile, like a SM-2ER. If that fails, then a shorter range missile like the ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) will go out — then the ship’s main deck guns will fire anti-air rounds with fused airburst shells.
Surviving missiles will be engaged by close-in weapons systems like the Mk-15 Pahalanx or the RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile). Any incoming missiles struck by these systems will be so close, and moving so fast, that incoming shrapnel and debris would likely be unavoidable.
While all these “Hard Kill” options are going on the ship’s electronic warfare systems will have been trying to jam the incoming missile, offering the missile a false target, while firing off chaff (for radar guided weapons) and flares (for infrared guided weapons).
All that for every single missile, so if China can send off several at once directed at the same ship, the chances of success on their part may increase exponentially.