The Pentagon is reportedly investigating allegations that China will
deploy nuclear-tipped missiles on two Russian-built Sovremenny-class
destroyers, said by one defense expert to be warships designed to start
a nuclear war.

Reports of nuclear warheads on the new Chinese anti-ship missiles
first appeared inside a new book called “Red Dragon Rising.” According
to the book’s co-author, William Triplett, each Chinese warship is
equipped with eight nuclear-tipped, Russian-made Moskit anti-ship
missiles — each armed with a warhead equal to over 120,000 tons of TNT.

“The Sovremenny is strictly an offensive platform,” stated Triplett
during a WorldNetDaily interview.

“Ed (Timperlake) and I are the only two Americans that have ever been
on a Sovremenny,” said Triplett. “It has virtually no stealth. It
can’t hide. It is intended to attack. The vessel is designed to fire
its nuclear tipped missiles and die.”

Atomic bomb blast at Bikini Atoll in 1946 towers over warships used as targets. The new Chinese missile can deliver a nuclear bomb six times as powerful.

Triplett also openly charged the missiles arming the new warships are
nuclear-tipped.

“Each warhead is six times more powerful than the atomic bomb used on
Hiroshima,” said Triplett. “The new missiles are designed specifically
to destroy American carriers and Aegis cruisers with a single nuclear
blast.”

According to the U.S. Naval Institute, in August 1999, the first of
two 8,480-ton Russian Navy Project 956A destroyers built for China
conducted trials in the eastern Baltic. Each 956A warship is armed with
eight supersonic 3M82 Moskit sea-skimming missiles (NATO code-named
SS-N-22 “Sunburn”).

The first Chinese warship was built originally for the Soviet navy,
as the Vazhnyy in 1988. The ship was launched in May 1994 and renamed
the Yekaterinburg before work was halted. In 1996, the Chinese People’s
Liberation Army Navy negotiated to buy the Yekaterinburg and another
956A class destroyer named the Alexandr Nevskiy. The Yekaterinburg is
due for delivery by the end of 1999 and the second destroyer by the end
of 2000.

In July 1999, Richard D. Fisher, a defense analyst for Rep.
Christopher Cox, R-Calif., wrote an evaluation of the Russian-built
Moskit missile being sold to China. According to Fisher, the U.S. Navy
cannot stop the Moskit.

“The Raduga Moskit anti-ship missile is perhaps the most lethal
anti-ship missile in the world,” wrote Fisher in a review of the Chinese
navy.

Illustration by Charles Smith

“The Moskit combines a Mach 2.5 speed with a very low-level flight
pattern that uses violent end maneuvers to throw off defenses. After
detecting the Moskit, the U.S. Navy Phalanx point-defense system may
have only 2.5 seconds to calculate a fire solution — not enough time
before the devastating impact of a 750-lb. warhead.”

There is evidence supporting the allegations that the U.S. Navy
cannot stop the Moskit. The only U.S. missile capable of duplicating
the Moskit’s blistering low-level performance is the Allied Signal
Vandal. Vandal target drones are reported to have penetrated U.S. Navy
air defenses during recent trials.

However, a Clinton administration deal with Moscow has left the U.S.
Navy without a means to simulate the Moskit anti-ship missile threat.
The updated Vandal target drone, re-named the Sea Snake, was canceled in
1999 by the Clinton administration in favor of purchasing a Russian
target drone, the Zvezda MA-31. According to official U.S. Navy
statements, the Zvezda MA-31 target drone cannot duplicate the Moskit
performance.

“The U.S. Navy has no defense against this missile system,” stated
“Red Dragon Rising” author Triplett. “One nuclear-tipped SS-N-22
(Moskit) will kill thousands of American sailors, airmen and Marines.
The message to the U.S. Navy is clear: Stay away or die.”

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