China’s New DF-41 MIRV ICBM Uninterceptable by US Missile Defense

Road mobile DF-41 MIRV ICBM

Road mobile DF-41 MIRV ICBM

On March 29, I posted SCMP’s report “China’s top new long-range missile ‘may be deployed this year’, putting US in striking distance” on possible Chinese deployment of its new ICBM DF-41.

According to the report, in additional to road mobile launchers, rail launchers undiscoverable by satellite may be used for the ICBMs, making it impossible for the US to destroy them before they are launched.

However the report quotes defense analysts as saying that it was not clear if the DF-41 could break through the multilayered US missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, Chinese media said in its report on April 3 that according to Chinese military expert Lei Ze, DF-41’s warheads are covered with stealth coating so that US X-waveband radar cannot discover them until they come near the radar. As a result, the respond time of US missile defense will be greatly reduced to make interception much more difficult.

Moreover, Mr. Lei says that DF-41 is a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) that may carry 6-8 MIRV warheads. When an ICBM carries 5 or more MIRV warheads, existing ICBM defense systems cannot effectively intercept it. Moreover, DF-41 may carry quite a few decoys in addition to the MIRV warheads, making it even more difficult to intercept.

The weight of such MIRV warheads may reduce DF-41’s range to 10,000 km, but most part of the US is still within its range.

Source: “No wonder US only dare to confront China by words instead of actions: That weapon will be deployed this year to make US dare not be arrogant” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

One Comment on “China’s New DF-41 MIRV ICBM Uninterceptable by US Missile Defense”

  1. Steve says:

    With such a detailed report, a number of these DF-41 would have been deployed. Why let the cat out of the bag if there is no rat to scare away, since the mobile and rail launchers cannot be located by satellite.