China plans to equip its upcoming missiles with infrared technology to give them the ability to hit US warships in Asia, a Japanese newspaper said Wednesday. The upgrade is part of preparations for a potential conflict over Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory and which has a security pact with the United States, the Sankei Shimbun said. Citing unnamed military sources in Japan and Taiwan, the conservative newspaper said that China was developing an infrared detection system for its medium-range Dongfeng-21 missiles so they can pinpoint warships.The upgraded Dongfeng would discourage the United States or Japan from sending in their warships equipped with the Aegis technology designed to shoot down incoming missiles, the newspaper said.The Dongfeng-21 has a range of some 2,150 kilometers (1,350 miles). The Sankei estimated that around 100 are deployed.
Western analysts have also speculated that China is also developing a next-generation long-range Dongfeng-41 capable of hitting the US mainland