Skip to comments.Rail-Mobile ICBMs enter Chinese arsenal
Posted on 04/23/2003 8:19:59 PM PDT by Filibuster_60
Kanwa was informed that the development of train-borne DF31 ICBM is already completed, and the deployment of these missiles has also been prepared. The development of DF31A, a upgraded version of DF31, has also already been completed.
In order to further enhance the mobile nuclear striking power and the capability to survive attacks, China has developed new types of DF31 series ICBMs similar to the former Soviet Union train-borne SS-24. In normal days, these missiles are moved along the railroads, while at time of war, they can be transported to selected sites and then launch nuclear assaults upon the enemy. DF31 is manufactured in Sichuan at Sichuan Areospace Industry Corporation. Reliable sources from China military industry say the major difference between DF31 and DF31A lies in their warheads. The former has single warhead, while the latter has multi-warheads.
The effect of the vehicle launch version DF31s was not very desirable during the trial service in the forces, since these missiles have very strict requirements for the roads and can only be deployed in very limited areas. It can be expected that in the future, China will focus on the railroad in the deployment of DF31. The sources denied the report that China would possibly use SS-25 launch vehicle to upgrade DF31 with the help of Belarus.
(Excerpt) Read more at kanwa.com ...
Story from AFP / Robert J. Saiget Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)
BEIJING, March 7 (AFP) - Significant amounts of China's rising defense budget will be earmarked for developing its nuclear ballistic force as the North Korean issue simmers and the US threatens deployment of a missile defense shield, military analysts said Friday.
China Thursday announced a 9.6 percent increase in its 2003 defense expenditures to 185.3 billion yuan (22.37 billion US dollars) -- a sharp drop from last year's 17.6 percent and from 2001 when it went up 17.7 percent.
However, most experts watching China's military modernization believe actual military spending is two to three times higher than the stated budget.
"The targets of China's military growth has to be the nuclear issue," Arthur Ding, a People's Liberation Army expert at the Institute of International Relations at Taiwan's Chengchi University told AFP.
China is concerned that if North Korea succeeds in building a nuclear-tipped missile force, other regional powers, most notably Japan and even Taiwan, would strongly consider building their own nuclear capabilities.
A nuclear capable North Korea would also ensure the deployment of a proposed regional nuclear defense shield, jointly built by the US and Japan, and capable of shooting down incoming ballistic missiles, Ding said.
Such a system, if proven successful, would render China's small arsenal of nuclear weapons less effective as well.
"If the US builds a missile defense system, then China needs to do something to neutralize missile defense deployment," Ding said.
To that end China was developing a "multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV)," or a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads that could circumvent the missile shield, he said.
According to the Kanwa Information Center (KWIC), a Toronto-based think-tank that focuses on East Asian security issues, a top priority of the Chinese military is to outfit its DF-31 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) with MIRV technology.
"China has put forward again the strategy of giving priority to nuclear deterrence, and injecting priority investment on all weapon systems that may reach the US mainland targets," Kanwa said in a report to be released this month.
"The traditional belief that DF-31A (a upgraded version of the DF-31) will only be outfitted with a single warhead is no longer relevant.
"With upgraded material and reinforced rocket thrust, or by way of fitting even smaller nuclear warheads, DF-31A now has a longer effective range."
China has also completed a railroad-based mobile version of the DF-31, which if fired from northeast China over the North Pole could target either New York or Washington, the group said.
According to Kanwa, China devoted nearly 25 percent, or 1.7 billion dollars, of its 2002 officially stated arms purchase budget to the Second Artillery Corp, the missile wing of the People's Liberation Army.
With such funding the artillery corp could realistically fund the production of up to 50 DF-31s a year, far above US estimates of some 20 missiles a year.
"It seems certain that the number of DF-31 series missiles will continue to increase," it said.
Perhaps the USA is not the primary intended target. We're one of their best customers [choke].
Sure we can deter them and they can deter us, like we did with the USSR during the cold war. I don't believe they are fool enough to try anything. Mutual assured destruction and containment. Nerve-wracking, but we can deal with it.
A more likely scenario is quietly blackmailing Taiwan without proclaiming to the world what they are doing.
Another possibility is is deterrance and containment of Russia by China, also quietly.
Furthermore what about India? They could annihilate India and India could not annihilate them back. Likewise Pakistan.
It is. Apparently the Chinese have forgotten the MX-Missile (Mobile-Experimental) of the Carter Administration. It was a bad idea from the beginning. Any railcar capable of carrying a missile that was capable of transcontinental range would be to huge and heavy for existing rail beds and rails. Even Carter could see it was dumb.
For purely domestic use no doubt.
"Rail-mobile" missiles are a technical challenge. It looks simple, at first, then the "brilliance" is overloaded by the plain and simple logistics. That's why the US stayed with Silo's and Sub's. (Google "MX-Missile)
Yes, I understand that the new "Ping-Pong 3000, Dual Laser Chinese Missile with Mud flaps", is just going to blow America all to HELL!...
I was a "Missileman" before I left the service, and just like the "Missile Defense Shield", I learned it's all very difficult. If it isn't sand in the Middle East, it will be Monsoon rains in China. I don't mean to mock these ideas, they sound good on paper, but they have serious problems in deployment. Even under ideal, peacetime conditions. And the Chinese are only as smart as our latest traitor.
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