Pentagon's 2016 China Military Power Report says 75-100 Chinese ICBMs

Discussion in 'China' started by Martian, May 15, 2016.

  1. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    The Pentagon count of Chinese ICBMs do not include SLBMs.

    There are four (or five) operational Chinese Type 094 Jin-class submarines. Each Jin carries 12 launch tubes. Each JL-2 SLBM is equipped with six to eight MIRVs.

    4 Type 094 Jin-class submarines x 12 launch tubes per submarine x 6 MIRVs = 288 thermonuclear warheads

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    In the past, the Pentagon kept insisting on a ridiculously low Chinese ICBM count. Until 1980, I think the Pentagon estimate was accurate. After 1980, the Pentagon was clearly not telling the truth.

    The addition of Chinese DF-5B, DF-31B, and DF-41 ICBMs added significant numbers of ICBMs to China's arsenal.

    In the 2016 Pentagon Report on Chinese Military Power, we are starting to see the Pentagon give a more realistic estimate of the total number of Chinese ICBMs. Instead of the previous silly claim of 20-35 ICBMs, the Pentagon is now saying 75-100 Chinese ICBMs.

    100 Chinese ICBMs x 8 MIRVs [average of DF-5B (8 MIRVs), DF-31B (5 MIRVs from NTI), and DF-41 (10 MIRVs)] = 800 thermonuclear warheads.

    The current total of Chinese thermonuclear warheads (excluding air-launched from H-6 bombers, Q-5 strike-fighters, and dual-capable ground-launched cruise missiles) is about 1,088 thermonuclear warheads.

    288 SLBM-launched thermonuclear warheads + 800 ICBM-launched thermonuclear warheads = 1,088 thermonuclear warheads.

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    http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2016 China Military Power Report.pdf

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  3. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    DF-31 ICBM can reach Alaska and Hawaii (and possibly US Northwest)

    I should mention the Chinese DF-31 ICBM as a separate system that can reach Alaska, Hawaii, and possibly the US Northwest.

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    List of Chinese ICBMs.

    DF-5. First Chinese ICBM launched in 1970. Has a five megaton warhead. Most likely discontinued.
    DF-5A. In service 1981. Also carries a five megaton warhead. Has extended range (by using composites, lighter-weight advanced electronics, and possibly higher-density rocket fuel) and can reach the entire United States.
    DF-5B. First displayed at the September 3, 2015 military parade. Carries eight to ten half-megaton MIRVs.

    DF-31. In service 2006. Carries a one megaton warhead plus decoys. Can reach Alaska, Hawaii, and possibly the US Northwestern states.
    DF-31A. In service 2007. Also carries a one megaton warhead plus decoys. Can reach all US states.
    DF-31B. Test completed on September 25, 2014. NTI (ie. Nuclear Threat Initiative) says the DF-31B carries up to five MIRVs.

    Sources regarding DF-31B.

    http://missilethreat.com/df-31-said-chinas-version-russias-topol-icbm/
    "Pentagon spokesperson Cynthia Smith said China completed a test of the DF-31B on Sept. 25 and that the new missile system is probably a multi-warhead version of the DF-31 missile. It is designed specifically for travel on rugged terrain or other difficult road conditions, a Chinese military website stated."

    NTI data on DF-31B: http://www.nti.org/media/pdfs/desig...tic_cruise_missile_inventory.pdf?_=1339613656

    DF-41. There have been five tests of the DF-41 ICBM.
    "The Washington Free Beacon claimed that China had test-launched a DF-41 using multiple reentry vehicles for the first time on 13 December 2014." (Source: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-tests-icbm-with-multiple-warheads/ )

    There has also been one test of a rail-based DF-41.

    "On 5 December 2015 China was observed conducting a launcher test of a new rail-mobile version of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to US officials.

    It was not a full test, but just a trial of the 'cold launch' system, in which the DF-41 was ejected from its launch tube with a gas charge but the engine was not ignited. As such it was likely meant to test the tube launch system's compatibility with its new rail car. This followed an apparent full flight test of the DF-41 on 4 December 2015." (Source: http://www.janes.com/article/56860/china-developing-new-rail-mobile-icbm-say-us-officials )

    The DF-41 ICBM is widely acknowledged to have 10 MIRVs. If China chooses to equip the DF-41 with six MIRVs then those are much bigger warheads.

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-flight-tests-multiple-warhead-missile/
    "The DF-41 is assessed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be powerful enough to deliver between six and 10 warheads up to 7,456 miles—far enough to reach every corner of the United States from launch areas in eastern China."

    JL-2 SLBM. The JL-2 is a naval version of the DF-31A ICBM. NTI says the DF-31A ICBM can carry up to five thermonuclear warheads. Jane's says the JL-2 SLBM can carry up to eight warheads.

    http://missilethreat.com/missiles/jl-2-css-nx-5/?country=china#china
    "Warhead: Nuclear, 1 MT or 3-8 MIRV with 20/90/150 kT warheads"

    In conclusion, China is developing the JL-3 SLBM (which is the naval version of the DF-41 ICBM). Also, the Chinese DF-ZF/WU-14 Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) can be installed on top of an ICBM to deliver a thermonuclear payload to evade an anti-missile missile.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016

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