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  • China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

    China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

    January 31, 2017
    By Bill Gertz

    China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing's strategic nuclear posture.

    The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

    The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

    No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored.

    "The [Defense Department] routinely monitors Chinese military developments and accounts for PLA capabilities in our defense plans," Ross told the Washington Free Beacon.

    The test of a missile with 10 warheads is significant because it indicates the secretive Chinese military is increasing the number of warheads in its arsenal.

    Estimates of China's nuclear arsenal for decades put the number of strategic warheads at the relatively low level of around 250 warheads.

    U.S. intelligence agencies in February reported that China had begun adding warheads to older DF-5 missiles, in a move that has raised concerns for strategic war planners.

    Uploading Chinese missiles from single or triple warhead configurations to up to 10 warheads means the number of warheads stockpiled is orders of magnitude larger than the 250 estimate.

    Currently, U.S. nuclear forces—land-based and sea-based nuclear missiles and bombers—have been configured to deter Russia's growing nuclear forces and the smaller Chinese nuclear force.

    Under the 2010 U.S.-Russian arms treaty, the United States is slated to reduce its nuclear arsenal to 1,550 deployed warheads.

    A boost in the Chinese nuclear arsenal to 800 or 1,000 warheads likely would prompt the Pentagon to increase the U.S. nuclear warhead arsenal by taking weapons out of storage.

    The new commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, stated during a Senate confirmation hearing in September that he is concerned about China's growing nuclear arsenal.

    "I am fully aware that China continues to modernize its nuclear missile force and is striving for a secure second-strike capability," Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    "Although it continues to profess a ‘no first use' doctrine, China is re-engineering its long-range ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear warheads and continues to develop and test hyper-glide vehicle technologies," Hyten added.

    "These developments—coupled with a lack of transparency on nuclear issues such as force disposition and size—may impact regional and strategic stability and are cause for continued vigilance and concern."

    The 10-warhead missile test comes amid heightened tensions with China. State-run media in recent weeks has carried reports calling for China to expand its nuclear forces. A broadcast report showed that new long-range mobile missiles could strike the entire United States.

    The Chinese state television channel CCTV-4 last week broadcast nuclear threats, including graphics showing new DF-41 missiles deployed in northern China and graphics showing the missiles' strike path into the United States. The Jan. 25 broadcast included a graphic of a 10-warhead MIRV bus for the DF-41.

    The Chinese Communist Party propaganda newspaper Global Times, known for its anti-U.S. stance, issued stark calls for China to build up its nuclear arsenal for use against the United States. On Jan. 24, the newspaper said China's strategic forces "must be so strong that no country would dare launch a military showdown."

    "China must procure a level of strategic military strength that will force the U.S. to respect it," the newspaper said.

    The same state-run organ criticized President Donald Trump in an article on Dec. 8 and said China should use its wealth "to build more strategic nuclear arms and accelerate the deployment of the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile."

    "We need to get better prepared militarily regarding the Taiwan question to ensure that those who advocate Taiwan's independence will be punished, and take precautions in case of U.S. provocations in the South China Sea," the newspaper said.

    China conducted a flight test of the DF-41 in April.

    Trump in December called for boosting America's aging nuclear arsenal.

    "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," he stated in a tweet.

    Military analysts said the large number of warheads is unusual for the Chinese nuclear program.

    Rick Fisher, an analyst with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the multi-warhead missile test appears to be aimed at sending a signal to the new Trump administration.

    Trump has tangled with China in opposing its military buildup on disputed South China Sea islands and on U.S. policy toward Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province and not an independent country.

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the United States is prepared to block China's access to reclaimed islands he said are located in international waters and not China's sovereign maritime domain.

    "This test of the 10-warhead DF-5C is China's latest nuclear intimidation exercise aimed at the new Trump administration," Fisher said.

    "China's nuclear intimidation signals have included the public revelation in late December via Chinese websites of the new DF-41 ICBM in Heilongjiang province, plus articles in China's state-controlled media touting the need for China to increase its nuclear forces to intimidate Washington," Fisher added.

    China's known force of around 20 D-5 missiles were deployed with large single warheads in the past, while some were upgraded with three-warhead top stages.

    In September 2015 China revealed for the first time during a military parade that it had deployed a new DF-5B multi-warhead missile. Unofficial published reports suggested the DF-5B carries between six and eight warheads.

    "The revelation that China has tested a new version of the DF-5 carrying ten warheads constitutes a very strong indication that China has produced a smaller warhead to equip its MIRV-capable ICBMs," Fisher said.

    Some analysts speculate that the recent test of the DF-5C used the older missile as a test platform for a new warhead delivery bus that will be used on the new DF-41.

    French China watcher Henri Kenhmann reported on his website East Pendulum that a Chinese missile test was to be carried out Jan. 15, based on air closure notices issued by the Chinese government for areas around Taiyuan and a missile impact range in western Xinjiang Province.

    Analysis of the impact range suggests the test would include multiple test warheads.

    "The point of impact is located south of the Taklamakan desert, in the former ballistic range of Minfeng," Kenhmann said, noting the Chinese had imposed an unusually large air exclusion zone of 125 miles around the impact zone.

    "It should be noted that this zone of ballistic impact is abnormally large," he stated, a sign the large area would be used for multiple dummy warheads.

    ‘The size of this impact zone could indicate testing several MIRVs," he said.

    A similar Chinese test of the DF-41 in April involved two MIRVs that were fired to a much smaller impact area of 60 miles by 37 miles.

    The Pentagon's latest annual report on the Chinese military said Beijing continues to upgrade its nuclear forces by enhancing silo-based missiles and adding new road-mobile missiles.

    "China’s ICBM arsenal to date consists of approximately 75 to 100 ICBMs, including the silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 (DF-5) and multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV)-equipped Mod 3 (DF-5B); the solid-fueled, road-mobile CSS-10 Mod 1 and 2 (DF-31 and DF-31A); and the shorter range CSS-3 (DF-4)," the report said.

    The DF-5 is a two-stage, liquid-fueled missile with a range of around 8,000 miles.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads started by Ryan Ruck View original post
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    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      China Rolls Out Powerful Missile Portrayed as Defense Against ‘Nuclear Blackmail’

      October 1, 2019

      China’s National Day military parade, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), included the expected public debut of the advanced Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) intercontinental ballistic missile.

      Chinese state media claim the new weapon is intended to protect the PRC from “nuclear blackmail.”

      The parade included 16 mobile DF-41 launchers, praised by Chinese experts as a flawless weapon system that had “no failure record” during testing and development.

      The Chinese military’s new DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, which can reportedly reach the United States, are seen at a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019, in Beijing.

      “This proves that China has sufficient and reliable strategic nuclear power, and decision-makers have the confidence to show and use them to respond to any kind of nuclear threat from any country,” gushed Chinese defense news editor Wu Jian to the state-run Global Times.

      “No matter how advanced the missile is, it always needs a mature and comprehensive system to make sure it can accurately strike a target, which at least includes intelligence gathering, satellite surveillance, logistics, and construction of launching positions,” Wu added, portraying the DF-41 as not just an impressive achievement on its own, but a sign of how advanced China’s military apparatus has become.

      The Global Times quoted other Chinese analysts who were equally enthusiastic about the DF-17, a new ballistic missile that uses a hypersonic glider to deliver warheads at very high speed and with the ability to change course in flight. These characteristics are supposed to make the DF-17 impossible for American missile defenses, such as the THAAD system deployed in South Korea or Japan’s upgraded defense network, to intercept.

      A DF-17 missile is presented during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

      The Global Times was much more explicit about portraying the DF-17 as a weapon specifically intended to penetrate U.S. defenses and implying the missile’s prospective targets would be U.S. and allied bases in Asia.

      The hardware on display in China’s military parade included the submarine-launched JL-2 ballistic missile, the new generation of YJ-18 anti-ship missiles, and new surface-to-air missiles “capable of intercepting multiple air strike weapons in a complex electro-magnetic environment.”

      Military vehicles carrying HHQ-9B surface-to-air missiles participate in a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      China's military display forces Pentagon to confront end of American dominance

      Analysts called rollout a clear warning to the West and an indication that Beijing's progress is accelerating

      Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-17 ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Trucks carrying weapons including a nuclear-armed missile designed to evade U.S. defenses ... more >

      By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 1, 2019

      The rest of the world was watching the pomp, circumstance and speeches celebrating China’s 70th anniversary Tuesday, but military analysts were glued to another spectacle in the heart of Beijing: the arsenal of cutting-edge weaponry capable of challenging U.S. military might for decades to come.

      The lavish event marking seven decades of Communist Party rule gave Beijing a golden opportunity to showcase new hypersonic missiles, top-of-the-line drones, tanks, stealth bombers, unmanned underwater vehicles, helicopters that rival U.S. Black Hawks, and a host of other military technology that highlights the nation’s ever-rising defense budget and its long-term plan to cut into American superiority in Asia and beyond.

      Analysts called the display a clear warning to the West and an indication that China’s military progress — already at the point where Beijing is likely capable of going toe-to-toe with the U.S. in the Pacific — is accelerating at a rapid pace. Pentagon officials say their strategy to counter China acknowledges the new paradigm and the uncomfortable truth that unquestioned U.S. power may be a thing of the past.

      SEE ALSO: AP PHOTOS: China marks National Day with military might

      “We’re no longer in a period of overwhelming American dominance but rather one in which our armed forces are adapting to fight against near-peer competitors who are fielding increasingly sophisticated capabilities,” Randall G. Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington just hours after the parade.
      “Instead of expecting to dominate an opponent, our armed forces are learning to expect to be contested throughout a fight while achieving the political objectives set for them,” he said.

      Frightening display

      SEE ALSO: China shows off new hypersonic nuclear missile at military parade

      Chinese officials downplayed the idea that the celebration was meant to frighten or intimidate its adversaries. President Xi Jinping again stressed the party lie that China’s “peaceful rise” should not be considered a threat to its neighbors or to the West. China already ranks as an economic and manufacturing superpower, and it could surpass the U.S. with the world’s largest overall gross domestic product within two years.

      In fact, the celebration drew unexpected congratulations from President Trump, a chief critic of China who has spearheaded a bitter trade war between the two nations.

      “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China,” the president said in a post on Twitter.

      But the sheer scale of the festivities clearly shows Beijing’s desire to project unprecedented power. The three-hour parade included more than 15,000 troops marching through the streets of the nation’s capital — a bold demonstration of the People’s Liberation Army, which is now the largest military in the world with more than 2 million men and women in uniform.

      More ominously for Western military observers, the parade included a first look at some of China’s most dangerous weapons and drew fresh attention to the ways China is outpacing the U.S. in many technological realms.

      One of the most menacing weapons on display was the DF-17 ballistic missile, a hypersonic weapon delivery system widely believed to be capable of evading virtually all current missile defenses. Hypersonic weapons travel at more than five times the speed of sound, and defense analysts widely agree that China is ahead of the U.S. in the development of such super-fast weapons.

      China also rolled out a mobile DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile, a JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile and a host of aircraft, land vehicles, missile interceptors and other weapons, according to media reports.

      Western military analysts and Pentagon planners also got their first public views of China’s new CJ-100 supersonic cruise missile, carried aboard 16 trucks in formation. Little is known officially about its capabilities, but it is believed to be an upgrade of the People’s Liberation Army’s CJ-10 cruise missile, which has an estimated range of 930 miles.

      Parade organizers also showed off technologies such as its “Sharp Sword” drone believed capable of attacking targets such as radar stations and military bases, as well as drone submarines that can descend far deeper than those of manned subs, The Associated Press reported.

      China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency singled out the DF-41 in touting the country’s growing military prowess by calling the weapon the “mainstay of China’s strategic nuclear strength, play[ing] a vital role in strategic counterbalance, deterrence control and in winning [a] decisive victory.”

      In his highly anticipated speech at the event, Mr. Xi preached cooperation among nations while projecting defiance of those who would challenge China’s sovereignty or exploit divisive issues such as the future of Taiwan, democracy in Hong Kong or Beijing’s treatment of minority populations.

      “No force can stop the progress of the Chinese people,” he said.

      The Chinese leader cast the celebration as the culmination of 70 years of progress, a path that has finally landed the country on equal footing with its global rivals. Chinese officials note repeatedly that communist Chinese rule has surpassed the longevity of the Soviet communist rule in neighboring Russia, which collapsed with the end of the Cold War.

      Mr. Xi also explicitly linked his reign to that of Mao Zedong, largely passing over the record of Mao’s successors in reversing some of the chairman’s policies and setting China on a path to massive, broad-based economic growth.

      “Seventy years ago on this day, Comrade Mao Zedong solemnly declared here to the world that the PRC was founded and the Chinese people had stood up,” he said, according to Xinhua. “This great event completely reversed China’s miserable fate born from poverty and weakness and being bullied and humiliated over more than 100 years since the advent of modern times.”

      Mr. Xi also called for stability in Hong Kong, where anti-government protests turned violent Tuesday when an 18-year-old demonstrator was shot and wounded by police at point-blank range. The unrest in the semi-autonomous region partially overshadowed the anniversary events in Beijing, and some U.S. lawmakers drew a direct link between China’s dangerous crackdown on protesters and its unceasing quest for military superiority.

      “As General Secretary Xi Jinping parades weapons through Tiananmen Square today, where democracy protesters lost their lives over 30 years ago, the party’s ruthless grip tightens and expands around the globe,” said Rep. Michael T. McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is interning millions of people in concentration camps in Xinjiang and violently cracking down on democracy activists in Hong Kong — including the senseless shooting of a high schooler at point-blank range today. Their obsession with control is putting the United States, our friends and allies, and our national security at risk.”

      Level playing field

      Despite such fierce criticism from the U.S. and some of China’s regional adversaries, Mr. Xi’s public comments show his growing belief that the nation can compete with the U.S. militarily in the Pacific.

      In fact, some of China’s weapons seem designed explicitly for a conflict with the U.S. military. For the first time, the Chinese military displayed the long-range H-6N bomber, an aircraft fully capable of targeting American forces in the Pacific.

      Beijing also showed off its DF-26 missile, known as the “Guam Killer” because of its ability to easily strike U.S. forces stationed on the island.

      Military analysts say the H-6N and DF-26 — along with hypersonic arms, drones and other new weapons — are part of Beijing’s broader “anti-access and area denial” (A2AD) military strategy. Such an approach is aimed at denying an enemy the ability to occupy or move through a specific area of land, air or sea.

      The strategy, analysts say, would be vital if Chinese forces mount a full-scale invasion of Taiwan and need to keep U.S. forces at bay.

      “Advanced supersonic drones, hypersonic glide vehicles, sophisticated air combat capability and missile systems are designed with this role in mind,” Malcolm Davis, senior analyst in defense strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, wrote in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. “The goal is to deter and deny the U.S. and its allies ‘access’ and freedom of [movement], by striking them as far away from China as possible.”

      The celebrations, Mr. Davis wrote, were “a warning Western states ignore at their peril.”

      The Pentagon’s “Indo-Pacific Strategy” released this year focuses on containing Chinese expansion in the Pacific and bolstering partnerships with key regional allies such as Japan and Australia. But military officials readily acknowledge that China is growing more powerful by the day.

      “We take China at their word: They seek to be a world-class military by 2049, and they are making progress toward that goal,” Mr. Schriver said. “They’re working to become a preeminent power in the Indo-Pacific region while simultaneously undertaking plans to expand overseas presence and develop capabilities to sustain operations farther from Chinese shores.”

      Although China is far from having the global reach of the U.S. military, there are real fears that its forces are the equal of the U.S. in the Pacific theater.

      An August study by the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Center found concluded that the Chinese military is now capable of launching attacks that could crush American defenses in a matter of hours. Defense Department officials, however, maintain that the U.S. remains able to defend itself, its territory, and its men and women in uniform around the world.