People’s Liberation Army would see their arsenal getting a major boost with the induction of next generation ICBM, DF-41 slated to happen early next year. The DongFeng-41, a long range ICBM with range over 12,000 km has undergone multiple tests and is the latest in the series.
The DF-41 ICBM underwent its eight test flight recently and according to experts have matured enough since it was first announced in 2012. The missile must have matured considerably if it is to start serving in the PLA and, if so, official deployment could be in the first half of next year, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said on a China Central Television (CCTV) program on Wednesday.
The DongFeng-41 is the latest of the Chinese’s ballistic missiles. The ICBM has a range of over 12,000 km giving the People’s Republic of China capability to strike anywhere in the world from mainland China. The missile purportedly has 3-10 MIRV with nuclear capability and able to target separately.Launch platform would probably be TEL (Transporter Erected Launcher) like its predecessors.
The 3-stage solid fuel missile makes use of chaff, flares and other decoy devices to evade Missile Defence Batteries. Even though technical specifications are kept under wraps, a possible top speed of Mach 10 is reported to be achieved by the DF-41.
The South China Morning Post reported that China had possibly tested the ICBM in its Western desert area in early November, but it did not give the exact location or date of the test.
US would be surely on their toes as they have been wary of China’s DongFeng, East Wind in Chinese, series of missiles. US tracking satellites had reported the seventh launch of DF-41 in April, 2016, as told by Washington Beacon.
Song Zhongping, a former member of the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps (Rocket Corps), who operates the DongFeng missiles, says that induction might have possibly occurred and is in active service. He is also of the view that DF-41 is definitely a show China’s nuclear deterrence capabilities.
The Chinese authorities also claimed that they are not interested in an arms race and the induction is only aimed at protecting its interests. The announcement comes amidst US claims of a possible war with North Korea and use of nuclear means to stop Korea’s threats.