BEIJING’S new missile is so exact, none of its launches have reportedly ended in failure. The weapon is also capable of hitting the US.
CHINA has unveiled its most powerful weapon yet and its new intercontinental ballistic missile is a force to be reckoned with.
The DF-41 ICBM can carry up to 10 manoeuverable warheads ranging from 100 to 200 kilotonnes to megaton size and has a range of between 12,000kms and 15,000kms.
In comparison, North Korea’s Hwasong-15, which was launched yesterday, has an estimated range of 13,000km.
China’sPeople Dailynewspaper revealed the DF-41 could enter service as early as the first half of next year.
Military expert Yang Chengjun told a TV program broadcasted on China Central Television (CCTV) earlier this week the DF-41 is China’s latest strategic missile and was quick, mobile and precise.
“The missile can hit every corner of the earth, allowing China to counter a nuclear strike on the country,” Mr Yang said.
According to the newspaper, the test launches have had a 100 per cent success rate.
Dr Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said this was China’s most advanced ICBM.
“It’s a road-mobile, solid fuelled ICBM with the range to cover all targets in the continental United States,” Dr Davis said.
“Its MIRVed — MIRV standing for multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles.
“This means the missile can carry multiple nuclear warheads — up to 10 warheads each with yields of around 150 kilotons (150,000 tons TNT equivalent) — or a single warhead with a yield up to 3 megatons (millions of tons of TNT).”
Dr Davis said 24 of these missiles could deliver between 240 warheads against the US.
“The North Korean Hwasong-15 would by contrast carry a single warhead,” he said.
“It would also carry penetration aids (‘penaids’) designed to confuse US missiles defences.”
Dr Davis said China is also developing ‘MARVs’ — manoeuvring re-entry vehicles — that would give them the ability to further defeat US missile defence, and potentially, attack mobile targets.
“They are also developing hypersonic glide vehicles which would carry individual warheads and glide at up to Mach 20 at very high altitude on a highly evasive trajectory, with the hypersonic glide vehicle (called a ‘DZ-ZF’) being launched atop the DF-41 in place of the regular payload of warheads,” he said.
Beijing’s overall objective is to ensure Chinese ICBMs like the DF-41 can defeat US missile defence systems, Dr Davis said.
Nuclear disarmament campaigner John Hallam said the DF-41 was simply the most powerful nuclear missile in the world and was the “ultimate doomsday weapon”.
“It’s a whopper, comparable to the biggest Russian missiles, which it resembles, including the recently tested Sarma,” Mr Hallam said.
He said there have been rumours and claimed sightings of this missile for some time and that it has been tested before.
H/t reader kevin a.
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