A US admiral says he's confident the US Navy's strike groups can counter China's 'carrier killer' missiles


  • A US admiral said his strike group can “execute the mission regardless of what the threat is.”

  • Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello brushed aside concerns about China’s “carrier killer” missiles.

  • China doubled its stockpile of “carrier killer” missiles between 2021 and 2022.

A US admiral has brushed aside concerns that China’s “carrier killer” missiles could pose a serious threat to the US naval fleet.

“I am absolutely confident that the carrier strike group can execute the mission that it was designed to do effectively and safely,” Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello told journalists on Wednesday, per Nikkei.

Sardiello, who commands the USS Carl Vinson strike group, was giving his assessment of the danger posed by China’s medium-range ballistic missiles, the DF-21.

“Our highly trained sailors can operate these complex, contested domains and be lethal and survivable, and execute the mission regardless of what the threat is,” Sardiello said on Wednesday.

China has reportedly doubled its stockpile of DF-21s in recent years, going from around 500 missiles in 2021 to 1000 in 2022, according to estimates from the Department of Defense’s China Military Power Report published last year.

In 2021, the Department of Defense said in its report that the DF-21s would give China “the capability to conduct long-range precision strikes against ships, including aircraft carriers, out to the Western Pacific from mainland China.”

Representatives for China’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

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