Advanced Ballistic Missiles Showcased in China’s September-30 ParadePosted: August 2, 2017
CCTV says in its video report on PLA’s parade at Zhurihe Training Base on September 30 that 40% of the military hardware in the parade is brand new homegrown ones that have never shown to the public.
As China keeps secret the details of its new weapons, in addition to CCTV’s report we have to get information about them from Strait Times report “China’s newest military hardware unveiled at PLA military parade at Zhurihe army base” and SCMP’s report “From stealth fighters to ballistic missiles, China shows the world its weapons of war: A breakdown of the technology on display for PLA’s anniversary celebration” on July 31.
As lots of new weapons are shown in the parade, we have to describe them in several posts to avoid great length that readers may find it boring.
First, we give a description of the ballistic missiles showcased by China’s Rocket Force.
There are first of all China’s strategic ICBMs that are most important but its formation is shown at the end of the parade. CCTV only says the two types of ICBMs in display use solid fuel but gives no description about them. According to Strait Times and SCMP, one of them is DF-31AG.
According to Leung Kwok Leung, a Hong Kong military analyst, in China’s latest system of assigning numbers to missiles, the letter “A” represents nuclear warhead, “B” means regular warhead, and “G” refers to an improved version. Therefore, DF-31AG is an improved version of DF-31 nuclear ICBM with extended range of 11,000 km able to hit almost everywhere in continental United States.
SCMP says, “Its (DF-31AG’s) survivability has been improved by its off-road launch capability, and it is believed to be capable of carrying up to five warheads, which can be independently aimed and make the weapon more likely to be able to penetrate a missile defence system.”
There is no description of the other type of ICBM by the three media.
There are on display intermediate strategic ballistic missile DF26 with nuclear or conventional warhead. It is said that the missile has a range of 4,000 km able to hit both ground and surface targets; therefore it can be an aircraft carrier killer like DF-21D.
CCTV says that DF-21D medium-range missile shown in a separate phalanx is able to adjust its trajectory on its own to ensure accurate hit of its target so that it is regarded as an aircraft carrier killer.
There is a phalanx of DF-16G conventional missile with great accuracy and fire power and capability of quick response. CCTV says it is used to destroy important strategic targets.
As the recent military is entirely different from previous ones, I will have more posts to describe what may be interesting for readers.
Comments by Chan Kai Yee on CCTV, Strait Times and SCMP’s reports, full text of the latter two can respectively be found at http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinas-newest-military-hardware-unveiled-at-sundays-military-parade-at-zhurihe-army
Footage of CCTV’s live report in Chinese 1 hour 16 minutes long can be found at http://news.cctv.com/2017/07/30/VIDEHgtfBHiwohA5RtiaMkeL170730.shtml in its website.