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War Games: China Sinks U.S. Ticonderoga-Class Cruiser with Fire Dragon Missiles in Red Sea Simulation

Simulation: China Sinks U.S. Cruiser Missiles
Source: MEGA

The Chinese test is one of a spate of military simulations involving US naval assets.

Jun. 26 2024, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

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China has carried out another simulated missile attack on a United States military asset, targeting a Ticonderoga-Class Battle Cruiser currently patrolling the Red Sea.

According to, the computer simulation and subsequent report revealed that at least six of China's Fire Dragon missiles would be needed to sink a warship like the USS Philippine Sea.

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The simulation involved firing 12 projectiles and using low-precision satellite images to identify the general locations of the mock U.S. naval assets. As the missiles approached their targets, they adjusted their trajectories to hit the vessels accurately.

The Eurasian Times reported that the exercise took into account the defensive capabilities of the ships, including the radar-guided Phalanx cannon, which can fire 4,500 rounds per minute. Despite this, one of the U.S. vessels was sunk during the simulation.

The report indicated that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China also used versions of the Fire Dragon missile equipped with six drones each. In a real combat scenario, these drones would be used to confuse a ship’s radar and divert its firepower while the main explosive targeted the vessel. The simulation was deemed highly successful as none of the simulated ships survived.

The Fire Dragon missile, produced by China’s North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), is not a state secret and is intended for export.

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According to the South China Morning Post, the missile weighs 880 lbs and has a high degree of accuracy, with an impact velocity exceeding 1,640 feet per second.

Li Jiangjiang, the senior author of the paper, noted that two of these warheads could destroy a 10,000-tonne warship like the Ticonderoga-Class Cruiser. So far, only one known sale of the missile, worth $245 million, has been made to the United Arab Emirates.

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Ticonderoga-Class vessels were first commissioned in 1981 as destroyers but were later reclassified as cruisers due to their enhanced firepower. The last vessel was built in 1994, and of the 27 units constructed, 13 remain in service.

Despite the Chinese simulation results, Ticonderoga-Class cruisers are formidable adversaries. They are equipped with a variety of offensive and defensive systems, including the AEGIS weapon system, which automatically tracks threats and targets entities beyond 200 miles.

According to National Interest, these ships carry up to 80 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), 16 anti-submarine rockets, and 26 Tomahawk cruise missiles. They also have two Mk-41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS), two Phalanx cannons, two machine guns, two torpedo tubes, and can accommodate two Seahawk helicopters.

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The U.S. has yet to comment on the test. However, this is not the first time China's training for attacks on American assets has been made public. In January 2024, Front Page Detectives reported on satellite images of structures resembling the supercarrier Gerald Ford in China’s Taklamakan Desert.

More recently, satellites captured another mockup, this time of Taiwanese parliamentary buildings, leading experts to speculate that a Chinese attack on Taiwan could be swift, potentially concluding in just 30 minutes.


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