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Place of origin China
Service history
In service 1971-2014 (China)
Used by China, Saudi Arabia
Warhead Nuclear, possibly 3 @ 50-100 Kt[1]

Engine liquid fueled
Up to 3,300 km[2]
Astro-inertial guidance

The DF-3A (NATO: CSS-2) is a Chinese Liquid-propellant rocket, single-stage, nuclear medium-range ballistic missile that entered service in 1971.[3]

In 1987 China sold several dozen (reportedly between 36 and 60) outmoded DF-3 missiles to Saudi Arabia, with conventional warheads.[4] Saudi Arabia publicly displayed them for the first time in 2014.[5]


Deployment of the missile began in 1971,[1] reaching a peak of 110 by 1984, then shrinking to 50 in 1993.[citation needed] It was estimated by the U.S. DoD that there were 17 missiles and 10 launchers in operation as of 2010 under a single brigade.[3] By May 2014, it appeared that the last unit operating the DF-3A completed conversion to the DF-21 missile from satellite photos of changes to the launch unit site.[6]

The DF-26, with a range of up to 4000 km, is replacing the DF-3A, being able to hit Guam.



  1. ^ a b "DF-3A / CSS-2". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2013 (PDF). Office of the Secretary of Defense (Report) (U.S. Department of Defense). 2013: 81. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Chinese nuclear forces, 2010. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
  4. ^ Mark Urban (6 November 2013). "Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan". BBC. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia unveils part of strategic missile force - a deterrent move against Iran?". Defense Update. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Chinese Nuclear Missile Upgrade Near Dalian - Fas.org, 21 May 2014

External links[edit]

Preceded by
DF-3A Succeeded by