Rumor: China develops air-launching variant of DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile

DF-21D air launch variant 2 DF-21D air launch variant and IL-76 DF-21D air launch variant H-6 rocket

Recently an unknown Chinese media source unveiled that DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile has an air launch variant.

The source quoted American case of launching Pegasus launch vehicle from the air in 1980s to prove the feasibility of air-launching DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile.

Besides, a 2000 research document on air launching concept was found studying release of small-sized launch rocket from IL-76 strategic airlifter, and in 2006 Zhuhai Air Show, a carrier rocket model which can be launched by H-6 Strategic Bomber in the air was exhibited.

The source said spatial infrastructures should be constructed to ensure safety of China, apart from Long-march 6 carrier rocket which has just been launched, air-launching ballistic missiles are also important, so air-launching DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile is reasonable.

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