America has spent hundreds of billions on stealthy fighter jets to rule tomorrow’s skies. Could a new Chinese weapon negate that edge?
The Daily Beast
Sep 25, 2015
By: David Axe
The U.S. Air Force—the most powerful military service of its kind on the planet—is nothing if not confident. So it’s exceedingly rare to hear the service’s top officers publically express alarm about specific weapons of potential enemies.
That’s why it was a big, big deal when Gen. Herbert Carlisle, the head of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command, twice mentioned with concern a new Chinese air-to-air missile in mid-September. The missile, called the PL-15, boasts a sophisticated radar seeker and a powerful rocket motor, giving it the potential to hit targets from 60 miles away or more—at least as far as American jets can fire their own missiles.
“Look at our adversaries and what they’re developing, things like the PL-15 and the range of that weapon,” Carlisle said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on September 15—the same day that China reportedly test-fired the PL-15 for the first time. “How do we counter that and what are we going to do to continue to meet that threat?” Carlisle asked rhetorically. [FULL STORY]