CONTENT PREVIEW
Weapons

China previews new ballistic missiles in practices for 3 September parade

31 August 2015
The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) DF-16 800-1,000 km-range MRBM is carried on a 10x10 Sanjiang Corporation TEL. Source: Chinese internet

Rehearsals in late August for the 3 September parade in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in China provided the first views of some new missiles in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery Corps' service.

If the parade includes the same kit as the rehearsal, the Dong Feng (DF, East Wind) DF-15B short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), DF-21C MRBM, DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), the warhead section of the DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the DF-31A ICBM, and the DF-10 land attack cruise missile (LACM) will be shown publically the first time.

Chinese internet sources suggested that covered trailers in the parade rehearsal were carrying the warhead section of the older DF-5B liquid-fueled ICBM. (Chinese internet)Chinese internet sources suggested that covered trailers in the parade rehearsal were carrying the warhead section of the older DF-5B liquid-fueled ICBM. (Chinese internet)

Perhaps the most prominent revelation was the DF-26 3,000-4,000 km IRBM. Based on early images of the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), it is produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). This 12x12 TEL, first revealed by Chinese sources in February 2013, is likely based on CASC's Tai'an Corporation HTF5680 vehicle.

As with all other missiles at the rehearsal, the DF-26 missile was covered to conceal details. That said, it appears to have three stages with a lengthy nose cone that potentially could incorporate terminal guidance systems.

China's 3 September parade in Beijing is likely to feature the DF-10 LACM. (Chinese internet)China's 3 September parade in Beijing is likely to feature the DF-10 LACM. (Chinese internet)

In March 2013 a US government source told The Washington Free Beacon website this missile's designation was the "DF-26C." The terminally guided version of the DF-21 MRBM is called DF-21C. However, the fact that CASC's DF-15B is the terminally guided version of that SRBM indicates that the "C" designation does not always indicate terminal guidance.

Nevertheless, should the DF-26C use a terminally guided warhead, that could also indicate that a future version may be equipped with an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) warhead similar to the DF-21D.

Based on its transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), the 3,000-4,000 km DF-26 IRBM is produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). (Chinese internet)Based on its transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), the 3,000-4,000 km DF-26 IRBM is produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). (Chinese internet)

While CASC's new DF-41 mobile, solid-fuelled multiple warhead-capable ICBM was not present in the parade rehearsal, there were trucks pulling a covered trailer, reported on Chinese web pages to carry the warhead section of the older DF-5B liquid-fueled ICBM.

A development of the 12,000-15,000 km range silo-launched DF-5A, the DF-5B is modified to carry three or more multiple nuclear warheads. In its annual report on China's military developments issued in May, the US Department of Defense for the first time acknowledged there was a "multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV)-equipped Mod 3 (DF-5)." Other sources in Asia have mentioned this missile since 2008.

Parade rehearsals in Beijing in late August revealed what appears to be a full-scale model of the People's Liberation Army Navy's YJ-12 ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile. (Chinese internet)Parade rehearsals in Beijing in late August revealed what appears to be a full-scale model of the People's Liberation Army Navy's YJ-12 ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile. (Chinese internet)

Also revealed officially for the first time was the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) DF-16 800-1,000km MRBM. It is carried on a 10x10 Sanjiang Corporation TEL, which was seen for the first time using a folding cover to protect the missile. This MRBM was first revealed by Chinese sources in April 2012.

As well, a new TEL was revealed carrying the CASIC 1,500-2,000 km-range DF-10 LACM, formerly called the CJ-10 (CJ, Long Sword). This TEL was first shown on Chinese web pages in 2013 and is likely a product of CASIC's Sanjiang Corporation. Like the earlier Sanjiang TEL, the new one carries three DF-10 LACMs.

A new MRBM, which some sources had suggested was a YJ-18 LACM, is apparently not appearing in the 3 September parade in Beijing. (Chinese internet)A new MRBM, which some sources had suggested was a YJ-18 LACM, is apparently not appearing in the 3 September parade in Beijing. (Chinese internet)

Also not appearing in the parade rehearsal was a new 12x12 version of this new TEL, which carries two missile launch boxes larger than, but similar to, those carrying the DF-10. The new missile has been reported to be the new "YJ-18" supersonic anti-ship missile. However, an Asian source has told IHS Jane's that this is a new MRBM.

Finally, parade rehearsals revealed what appears to be a full-scale model of the People's Liberation Army Navy's YJ-12 ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile (ASM). Resembling a lengthened Russian Zvezda Kh-31 ramjet-powered ASM, the YJ-12 is estimated to have a range between 250 km and 400 km and a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. It is currently carried by the Xian Aircraft Corporation H-6G naval bomber.

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