US Navy Puts Game-Changing Missile Right on China's Doorstep

China is getting a major reminder that despite its advances in missile technology, the United States still holds a major edge over the communist nation.
CNN reports that the USS Gabrielle Giffords left port in San Diego earlier this month with a very special armament.
The littoral combat ship is carrying the advanced Naval Strike Missile, a drone-guided weapon that avoids radar detection by flying along the surface of the water.
Raytheon, one of the manufacturers awarded a contract for the over-the-horizon missile, describes the advanced weaponry as a “long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away.”
“The stealthy missile flies at sea-skimming altitude, has terrain-following capability and uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting in challenging conditions,” the company says.
The missile is paired with a drone helicopter that can be used to scout prey for the system.
A video of a Naval Strike Missile in action proves that it doesn’t just sound incredible on paper — this missile delivers.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords will cruise the Pacific and stand at the ready to enter hotly contested flashpoints like the South China Sea.
The Chinese have built up shoals and artificial reefs in the sea to make forward missile and air bases. The communist government claims much of the area as its own, prompting freedom of navigation missions from the United States.
Much of the Chinese defense doesn’t rely on ship-to-ship confrontation with the U.S., but with so-called ship killer missiles.
Flying low to the water and launched from land-based systems, these missiles can quickly send an opponent’s encroaching navy to the bottom of the ocean.
The Naval Strike Missile not only adds increased ship-killing capability to the U.S. Navy’s arsenal, but it also gives ships the ability to project firepower to insane distances.
This fact that this missile is now on their doorstep should give the Chinese reason to worry.

Chinese installations along their own coast are built to serve as a deterrent and first line of defense against the United States, as well as giving their own navy room to breath in a combat situation.
Now that at least one U.S. ship in the region has the ability to bombard naval targets from 100 miles away, their effectiveness is plummeting.
Many see the United States’ continued presence in the South China Sea as a major reason China has not made good on its threats to conquer the tiny island nation of Taiwan.
With the USS Gabrielle Giffords now in the region, China’s plans for regional domination will likely stay on the drawing board for now.
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