However, earlier this week Willard told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun that while the missile was still being developed, it was now in the early stages of deployment.
“We have not seen an over-water test of the entire system,” he said.
The missile has an expanded capability that ranged “beyond the first island chain and overlaps countries in the region,” he said.
Andrew Erickson, a professor at the US Naval War College, said the admiral’s comments on the missile deployment meant that China must have conducted a rigorous testing program.
While the missile was “doubtless an area of continuous challenge and improvement,” Erickson said, its command, control, communications, computers, information, surveillance and reconnaissance infrastructure must be sufficient at this stage to support its use.