DF-41

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DF-41
Type ICBM (under development)
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Production history
Manufacturer China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)
Specifications
Weight ~80,000 kilograms (180,000 lb)[1]
Length ~21 metres (69 ft)[1]
Diameter ~2.25 m (7 ft 5 in)[1]
Warhead Thermonuclear weapon, possibly up to 10 MIRVs (single 1 Mt or MIRV with selectable 20, 90, 150, 250 kt)[1]

Engine Three-stage Solid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
~12,000–15,000 kilometres (7,500–9,300 mi)[1]
Speed Mach 25 (30,626 km/h; 19,030 mph; 8.5073 km/s)[2]
Guidance
system
Inertial with BeiDou
Launch
platform
Silo, road-mobile Transporter erector launcher

The Dongfeng-41 (DF-41, CSS-X-10) (Chinese: 东风-41; literally: "East Wind-41"), is a Chinese nuclear solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile under development.[3]

It has an estimated operational range of between 12,000 km[4] to 15,000 km.[1] This could make the DF-41 the world's longest ranged missile, surpassing the range of the US LGM-30 Minuteman which has a reported range of 13,000 km.[5][unreliable source?] It is believed to have a top speed of Mach 25,[2] and to be capable of MIRV delivery (up to 10).[4] The development of the MIRV technology is reported to be in response to the deployment of the United States national missile defense system which degrades China's nuclear deterrence capability.[6] The project started in 1986,[4] and may now be coupled with the JL-2 program.

Air Power Australia reported that the DF-41 was cancelled pre-2000, with the technology developed transferred to the DF-31A.[4][7] Missilethreat.com reported that it was unclear if the program was restarted after suspension in 2002.[8] It was incorrectly anticipated that the DF-41 would be delivered to the Second Artillery around the year 2010.[4][9] Some military experts had expected that it could be unveiled at the 2009 National Parade.[10] However, rehearsals of the military parade did not feature this missile.

American conservative website Washington Free Beacon reported that the DF-41 had its first flight test on July 24, 2012.[11] The U.S. Department of Defense made no reference to this claimed test in its 2013 report to Congress,[12] but the Free Beacon reported in 2014 that U.S. officials had said by then that the DF-41 was test launched twice since 2012.[13]

In April 2013, Taiwan's National Security Bureau head reported to the National Assembly that the DF-41 was still in development, and not yet deployed.[14]

The U.S. Department of Defense in its 2013 report to Congress on China's military developments made no explicit mention of the DF-41, but did state that "China may also be developing a new road-mobile ICBM, possibly capable of carrying a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV)", which may refer to the DF-41.[12] Later in 2013 the Washington Free Beacon reported that the second launch test took place on December 13, 2013 from the Wuzhai missile launch center in Shanxi province to an impact range in western China, according to officials familiar with details of the tests.[15]

In August 2014, China Shaanxi Provincial Environmental Monitoring Center website accidentally made a news report about events of setting environmental monitoring site for DF-41 ICBM. This is the first official proof available in public and it also proves the developments of DF-41 is nearing the end. This news report (and the whole website) was taken down shortly after getting public attention.[16]

Richard Fisher, an expert on Asia-Pacific military affairs, says that a typical Second Artillery Corps unit has 6-12 missile launchers and may have an additional 6-12 "reload missiles", i.e. missiles to be launched after the first missile with which the launcher is equipped are launched, indicating 12-24 DF-41 missiles per one unit and giving a single SAC unit the capability to target the contiguous United States with 120-240 nuclear warheads.[17]

The Washington Free Beacon claimed that China had test-launched a DF-41 using multiple reentry vehicles for the first time on 13 December 2014.[18] China soon confirmed that the launch occurred, saying it has a legitimate right to conduct scientific tests within its border, and that they are not targeting any country and does not affect their policy of not using nuclear weapons first in a conflict. The launch took place at the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Center in central China and impacted in the west of the country, closely monitored by U.S. satellite and electronic monitoring gear.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "DF-41 (CSS-X-10)". Missilethreat.com. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.armedforces-int.com/news/china-reports-df-41-icbm-test-launch.html
  3. ^ http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/1/china-intercontinentalmissile.html
  4. ^ a b c d e "DF-41 (CSS-X-10) (China) - Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems". Janes.com. 2009-07-02. Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/mineman3.htm
  6. ^ Arjun Subramanian P (12 November 2012). "DF-41: China's answer to the US BMD efforts". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Sean O'Connor (April 2012). "PLA Ballistic Missiles". Air Power Australia. APA-TR-2010-0802. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "DF-41 (CSS-X-10)". Missilethreat.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  9. ^ John Pike. "DF-41 - China Nuclear Forces". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  10. ^ "Five types of missiles to debut on National Day_English_Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  11. ^ China test fires new long-range missile | Washington Free Beacon
  12. ^ a b Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2013. Office of the Secretary of Defense (Report) (U.S. Department of Defense). 2013: 6. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Pentagon Confirms New Chinese Long-Range ICBM Development
  14. ^ Rogge Chen and Sofia Wu (15 April 2013). "China yet to deploy 094 sub, JL-2 & DF-41 missiles: security head". Focus Taiwan (Central News Agency). Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  15. ^ http://freebeacon.com/china-conducts-second-flight-test-of-new-long-range-missile/
  16. ^ "China 'confirms new generation long range missiles'". Daily Telegraph. AFP. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  17. ^ http://freebeacon.com/national-security/chinese-government-website-confirms-new-multi-warhead-icbm/
  18. ^ China Tests ICBM With Multiple Warheads - Freebeacon.com, 18 December 2014
  19. ^ Chinese Military Confirms DF-41 Flight Test - Freebeacon.com, 26 December 2014