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China confirms new class long range missiles: report

BEIJING -- China has acknowledged the existence of a new intercontinental ballistic missile said to be capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads as far as the United States, state-run media reported Friday.

A government environmental monitoring center in Shaanxi said on its website that a military facility in the province was developing Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) missiles, the Global Times reported.

The DF-41 is designed to have a range of 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), according to a report by Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, putting it among the world's longest-range missiles.

It is “possibly capable of carrying multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles,” the U.S. Defense Department said in a report in June, referring to a payload of several nuclear warheads.

China's military is highly secretive, and the Global Times said it had not previously acknowledged the existence of the DF-41.

The original government web post appeared to have been deleted on Friday, but the newspaper posted a screengrab.

It also quoted a Chinese military analyst as saying: “As the U.S. continues to strengthen its missile defense system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend.”

China's defense ministry in January responded to reports that it had tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle by saying that any military experiments were “not targeted at any country and at any specific goals.”

It made the same response last December when asked about reports that it had tested the DF-41.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen in recent months over territorial disputes with U.S. allies in the East and South China Seas, and cyber-hacking.

Beijing has boosted its military spending by double digit amounts for several years as it seeks to modernize its armed forces, and now has the world's second biggest military outlays after the U.S.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said last month that any confrontation between the two powers “will surely spell disaster for both countries and for the world.”

China's previous longest range missile was the DF-5A, which can carry a single warhead as far as 12,000 km, according to Jane's.

The DF-5A had its first test flight in 1971, and has to be fuelled for around two hours prior to firing, limiting its effectiveness as a weapon, according to analysts.

August 3, 2014    cg@
The US is trying to erode China's nm by building a missile shield. This is to allow for damage limitation in the worst case scenario in case the US decides to neutralize PLA nuclear forces.
These long range nm will act as a deterrent unlike the past when Mao was helpless as the US threatened China with nuclear blackmail. Though the US will prevail, it will be a great cost and that is why the Pentagon is going all out to restore the immunity and impunity US forces and territory had enjoyed since ww2. It's a fool's errand.
China will go all out to make sure it aint going to be bullied as in the past.
August 5, 2014    cm@
The US has a mind boggling 20000 twenty thousand nm. According to reports at least 5 % to 10% are on 15 min alert status to attack any country, including China. That means 2000 nm could be delivered. Add to the proposed US missile shield, it will appear the US will seek to destroy China's miniscule nuclear deterrent.
Unless China has by my reckoning a thousand nm, the US will continue to treat China with disrespect. Assuming the US can wipe out at least 90% of China's nm, the remaining 10% will wreak enormous and massive damage. The thing is China must have the hypersonic nm.
These hypersonic missiles if it really works and travelling at ten times the speed of sound wont level the missile gap but will really make the Pentagon edgy. Hence DF 21 will be a really effective deterrent. I believe the PLA is trying to make it invulnerable too.
I look forward to the day when the US will realize China can't be pushed around anymore.
August 10, 2014    mc@
The PLA advances in its ability to confront US forces worries the Pentagon. Why should the US be worried when it possesses overwhelming superiority. The thing is US forces and US homeland are no more immune from PLA attack.
Try as it might, the US cannot restore the sacrosanct status of its assets.
To do so will even provoke the PLA to develop more advanced weapons, defensively and offensively.
The US can easily neutralize the PLA but the price will be unimaginable. The PLA aint all out to seek parity but rather the forces that can defend China and extort a prohibitive price should it fail.
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