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China The Military

China Confirms New Generation of ICBM 224

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the live-fast-die-young-bomb-may-drop-tomorrow dept.
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes with news of the Chinese military's latest toy, an ICBM capable of delivering multiple warheads across the Pacific. From the article: 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 re-entry vehicles", the U.S. Defense Department said in a report in June, referring to a payload of several nuclear warheads. 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 previous longest range missile was the DF-5A, which can carry a single warhead as far as 12,000 km, according to Jane's.
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

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  • Known since forever (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Friday August 01, 2014 @11:34AM (#47581711)

    This missile development effort has been known of since forever. Pictures of the TEL has even showed up. What has not been made public is if the missile is fully operational and deployed or not. The Chinese have also not displayed DF-41 in the National Day parade either.

    This article brings nothing new as there is still no official report of it being operational.

  • Re:No worries (Score:4, Informative)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:12PM (#47582069)
  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:17PM (#47582137)

    The newness in the DF-41 is that it would be the first solid fuel Chinese ICBM with the ability to hit the entire Continental US. Plus it would be mobile since it is supposed to be launched from a truck mounted TEL. The only system the Chinese currently which can hit the entire CONUS is the DF-5A which is a hypergolic liquid fuel missile which is so damned big it can only be launched from silos. Supposedly the Chinese dug an mountain up in order to have make these silos decades ago but they are still vulnerable to first strike. Unlike the US, UK, France, Russia, the Chinese nuclear submarine force is pathetic so they can hardly count on the submarines as a viable deterrent either.

    This would basically put the Chinese up with the Russians in terms of land missile capability. Ahead of the US too since the only land based missiles are silo based like the Minuteman. The US did have a project for a road mobile ICBM called the Midgetman at one point but it was cancelled.

  • Re:No worries (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:20PM (#47582167)

    Iron Dome is useless for intercepting ICBMs. The name of the Israeli system for intercepting ICBMs is the Arrow missile [wikipedia.org].

  • by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:22PM (#47582839)

    The US doesn't really need road-mobile ICBMs. We've got the best ballistic missile subs in the world, and a lot of them, not to mention our worldwide network of airbases, capable of launching nuclear strikes with stealth aircraft and cruise missiles if we so desire.

    I'll give you the subs. The US boomers are plentiful and scary as shit. But stealth aircraft are very slow, and do not carry high yield MIRVs. They can carry up to 16 B83 bombs [wikipedia.org] These are variable yield, up to 1.2 Megaton dumb bombs. So they have to be dropped, not fired like a missile. Additionally, I don't think a B2 attack on China or Russia would be very effective. Especially if it came after they already launched a first strike, and presentably the US had already retaliated with land and sub based ICBM's

    Currently the boomer fleet is the biggest deterrent there is. As far as we know, there is no reliable way of finding them, and one Ohio class sub can carry 16 Trident-2 SLBM's. With up to 8 of which can be MIRVed With Mk-4 reentry vehicles carrying up to 4 W88 warheads. The W88 is estimated to be a little under a half a megaton yield. The other 8 Trident-2 missiles are single warhead. Granted, many, if not most of the MIRVs are dummy warheads, but no one knows for sure outside of those who "need to know". So there is the potential of 40 half megaton warheads on each of the 14 SSBN Ohio class subs.

    As far as I remember the W80 warhead for the Tomahawk cruise missile has been retired. So the Los Angles, Virginia, and Seawolf class subs can no longer carry nuclear warheads. If I'm mistake, then that's another 50 or so subs that can launch a nuclear strike via a Tomahawk

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