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China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

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China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Nuclear Disarmament China | Articles | NTI Analysis | NTI

"Nuclear Disarmament China
Aug. 3, 2012

NPT Nuclear Weapon State

Arsenal Size

• Most opaque of the nuclear weapon states; limited open source information.
• Total inventory of nuclear warheads: approximately 240 [1]

Key Delivery Systems [2,3,4,5]

• Land-based missiles: Approximately 140. (ICBM: DF-4, DF-5A, DF-31, DF-31A; MRBM: DF-3A, DF-21) [2]
• Aircraft: 20 (Hong-6) [3]
• SLBM: 2 Jin-class SSBNs deployed with more under construction (12 missile capability per SSBN); approximately 12 JL-1 SLBMs and 36 JL-2 SLBMs (neither of which are fully operational) [4]
• Cruise missiles: DH-10 (conventional or nuclear capability); estimated 200-500 missiles with 40-55 launchers. [5]
• The warheads are controlled by the Central Military Commission and kept in central facilities located throughout China. If a nuclear threat should arise, nuclear warheads would be mated with missiles and SSBNs would have to be equipped with warheads before deployment. [6]
• No credible evidence to confirm that non-strategic nuclear weapons still remain in the operational force. [7]

Estimated Destructive Power

294 megatons [8]

Military Fissile Material Stockpile
(estimates)

• Plutonium: 1.8 ± 0.5 tons of weapon-grade plutonium [9]
• HEU: Estimated 16 ± 4 tons [10]

Disarmament and Commitments to Reduce Arsenal Size

• Legal obligation to pursue disarmament with the other nuclear weapon states under Article VI of the NPT. [11]

Future Commitments

• In support of negotiating a verifiable FMCT provided the treaty does not cover existing stockpiles. [12]

Nuclear Weapons Policies

Nuclear Testing


• Has observed a nuclear testing moratorium since July 1996.[13]
• Signed but did not ratify the CTBT. [14]

Use of Nuclear Weapons


• Adopted no-first use policy [15]
• Negative security assurances to members of the Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, and Pelindaba nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ). [16] China has not signed the Bangkok treaty, but it has expressed support for a SE Asian NWFZ. [17]
• Acknowledged the commitments of the NWS to negative security assurances in UN Security Council Resolution 984 (1995)[18]
• Supports legally binding unconditional negative security assurances.[19]

Sources:
[1] Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[2] Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[3] Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[4] Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Jin-SSBNs Getting Ready?" FAS Strategic Security Blog, 2 June 2011, http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp; Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[5] Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[6] Mark A. Stokes, "China's Nuclear Warhead Storage and Handling System," Project 2049 Institute, 12 March 2010, http://www.project2049.net; Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2011," Nuclear Notebook, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2011, pp. 81-87, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[7] "Status of World Nuclear Forces," Federation of American Scientists, 7 May 2012, Federation of American Scientists.
[8] Eliminating Nuclear Threats, ICNND Report, International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
[9] International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report2011, International Panel on Fissile Materials.
[10] International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report2011, International Panel on Fissile Materials.
[11] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, Nuclear Threat Initiative.
[12] "China's National Defense in 2010," Information Office of the State Council, The People's Republic of China (Beijing), March 2011, Gov.cn: The Chinese Central Government's Official Web Portal.
[13] CTBTO website, Nuclear Testing page, Home: CTBTO Preparatory Commission.
[14] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, http://www.nti.org; Kingston Reif, "The Case for the CTBT: Stronger Than Ever," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Web Edition, 9 April 2012, It is 5 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
[15] Statement by H.E. Mr. Wu Haitao, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs on the Issue of Nuclear Disarmament at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference, 3 May 2012, Home - Reaching Critical Will.
[16] Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (NWFZ) Clearinghouse, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, cns.miis.edu.
[17] Peter Crail, "Progress Made on SE Asian Nuclear Pact," Arms Control Today, Vol. 41, December 2011, Arms Control Association | The authoritative source on arms control since 1971..
[18] Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (NWFZ) Clearinghouse, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, cns.miis.edu.
[19] "Nuclear Disarmament and the Reduction of the Danger of Nuclear War," Working Paper submitted by China to the 2015 NPT Review Conference, 27 April 2012, http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org.

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Updated link to NTI: http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/china-nuclear-disarmament/

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Megatonnage is important, because it is the total firepower that is critical.

For example, China's DF-5A has the world's largest deployed thermonuclear warhead at five megatons. It can destroy metropolitan Tokyo (ie. Tokyo and all surrrounding suburbs) with one hit. To accomplish the same level of destruction, the United States would have to launch about 10 warheads with 475 kilotons (e.g. 10 x .475 megatons = 4.75 megatons).

The focus of the United States is to destroy enemy military installations. Hence, the U.S. has a lot of small thermonuclear warheads.

In China's case, they intend to obliterate their enemies by destroying the population centers. This is the principle behind total war. Once you destroy the enemy civilian population, the other side can no longer recruit new soldiers or produce new weapons.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:46 pm

Crisp high-definition video of China's first atomic blast in 1964

China's atomic blast in 1964 was an amazing achievement because their atomic bomb was designed without supercomputers. Incredibly, in three short years, China made the leap to a 3.3 megaton thermonuclear blast in 1967.

By safeguarding China from foreign invasions through the development of thermonuclear warheads and ICBM technology by 1971, Mao Zedong gave China the breathing room to develop its economy in peace. These two milestones will forever cement Mao Zedong's claim to the title of China's greatest leader.

Coupled with Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms, the rest is history. China has grown into an economic and military superpower. "The Chinese people have stood up!"

Video of the 22-kiloton Chinese atomic explosion in 1964

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGhWB2px99g
Last edited by Martin Su on Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:56 pm

Video of the 3.3-megaton Chinese thermonuclear explosion in 1967

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuX5xug9prk
Last edited by Martin Su on Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:07 pm

China has almost as much proven recoverable uranium as the U.S.

China has practically the same amount of uranium as the U.S.

This means China can build as many thermonuclear weapons as the U.S (e.g. fission trigger and plutonium transmuted from uranium).

With Nuclear Energy, China Chooses Dependence Over Independence (Part II of II) « Energy in Asia

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By the way, the first Chinese thermonuclear bomb (refraction) with 3.3-megaton yield had a different design than the American (reflection) and Russian (layer cake) hydrogen bombs.

Thermonuclear weapon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The People's Republic of China detonated its first H-Bomb using a Yu–Deng design June 17, 1967 ("Test No. 6"), a mere 32 months after detonating its first fission weapon (the shortest fission-to-fusion development in history), with a yield of 3.31 Mt.

The Yu–Deng design is different from the Teller–Ulam design. It doesn't use X-ray reflector, but refraction lens to achieve similar effect."
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:45 pm

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:07 am

China reveals 'ace' against U.S. military | WND

"China reveals 'ace' against U.S. military
Report confirms weapon usable for 'surprise attack or an intimidation factor'
Published: 3 hours ago
by F. Michael Maloof

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WASHINGTON – Members of the Chinese military are looking to use an electromagnetic pulse as part of a “one-two punch” to knock out – literally within seconds – all defensive electronics not only on Taiwan but also on U.S. warships that could defend the island.

This revelation comes in an article by Lou Xiaoqing who says the People’s Liberation Army sees an EMP weapon as the primary means of incapacitating Taiwan and disabling American defenders nearby.

Given that such a strategy was made public in an article entitled “Electromagnetic pulse bombs are Chinese ace,” it is seen as reflecting the official Chinese government position.

Xaoqing said that if the Chinese were to use a high-altitude nuclear device which would create the destructive EMP impact on Taiwan’s electronics, it would be exploded at an attitude of 18 miles to avoid damaging civilian and military equipment on the Chinese mainland, which might happen if the bomb exploded at a higher altitude.

“China is attracted to the fight against the U.S. military after the effective range, using them as a means of surprise attack or an intimidation factor,” Xaoqing said. “The United States will abandon the use of aircraft carrier battle groups to defend Taiwan.”

Xaoqing said that the Chinese military has calculated that the U.S. military is too fragmented and, coupled with the downturn in the economy, would be less likely to come to Taiwan’s assistance, forcing Taiwan to defend itself.

Contrary to popular belief, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act does not require the United States to intervene militarily if the Chinese mainland attacks Taiwan. Instead, it has adopted what is called a policy of “strategic ambiguity” in which the U.S. neither will confirm nor deny that it would intervene on Taiwan’s behalf.

The legislation, however, does require the U.S. to “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character” and “to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.”

As WND previously has reported, China is giving a priority to developing EMP weapons that could be used against U.S. aircraft carriers, which increasingly are arriving in the South and East China Seas as part of the new U.S. “pivot” policy toward Asia.

That policy is to challenge China’s claims over all of the East and South China Seas and the increasing assertiveness by Beijing, which is trying to gain exclusive control over vital minerals and energy in the region.

There already have been instances of military confrontations between China and neighbors such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

With a history of animosity, China and Japan now have conflicting claims of ownership over two South China Sea islands.

China calls the islands Diaoyu while Japan refers to them as Senkaku. The Japanese have evidence of their claim – in having purchased them from private citizens years ago – and the U.S. supports Japan’s claim.

A 2005 U.S. National Ground Intelligence Center study that was classified secret but released two years ago said China’s development of high-powered microwave weapons is part of its “assassin’s mace” arsenal – weapons that allow a technologically inferior country such as China and even North Korea to defeat U.S. military forces.

Microwaves and the gamma rays from a nuclear blast are forms of electromagnetic energy. The bombs are designed to be exploded at a high altitude to knock out all unprotected electronics, including electrical grids, computers and automobiles over a wide geographical area.

Even the declassified NGIC report pointed out that the use of an EMP against Taiwan at an altitude of 30 to 40 kilometers would “confine the EMP effects to Taiwan and its immediate vicinity and minimize damage to electronics on the mainland.”

The report particularly said that China’s DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile could be the platform to be used to launch an EMP attack on Taiwan.

In outlining China’s one-two punch, Xaoqing said that in the first punch the Chinese military would disable non-hardened electronics and command and control centers.

He said that an EMP would be especially attractive because it acts with the speed of light in any kind of weather, would hit multiple targets over a wide area and minimize damage in politically sensitive environments.

Given the relatively low altitude of 18 miles at which a Chinese EMP would be detonated over Taiwan, Xaoqing said the second punch would create certain health effects from exposure to an EMP.

He said that based on Chinese research in 2005 that assessed the effects of an EMP on heart cells, it would make peoples’ hearts unable to function as well as they should, with possible death or serious damage of the heart and, by extension, death to those exposed to an EMP.

If exposed to explosions at higher altitudes, the effects of an EMP would be less damaging to peoples’ health, he said.

While there wouldn’t be a 100 percent kill rate, Xaoqing said, he said it could lead to long term disability to those most susceptible to an EMP, such as the elderly, young and unborn."
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:03 pm

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:24 pm

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:51 am

China's Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) against the United States

The pictures below show three Chinese Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs.

Each Jin-class SSBN carries 12 JL-2 SLBMs.

According to Jane's Defence, one JL-2 SLBM can carry 8 MIRVed thermonuclear warheads. (Source: Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons). September 30, 2012.)

3 Chinese Jin-class SSBNs x 12 JL-2 SLBMs per SSBN x 8 MIRVs per SLBM = 288 thermonuclear warheads

This is counter-intuitive, but China can deter the United States by aiming 288 thermonuclear warheads at Russian cities. In an all-out thermonuclear war with the United States, China already knows that American nukes are headed for China. This means China is finished.

In retaliation, China wipes out 288 Russian cities and towns. Basically, Russia is finished.

China will leave all Russian nuclear forces untouched. The Russians have a choice to launch all of their ICBMs against the United States. This is important for the war after the nuclear winter. If Russia does not launch all of its ICBMs against the U.S. then the handful of Russians who survive in underground cities will have to face 310 million Americans in an undamaged America.

The only logical choice is for Russia to launch all of its MIRVed thermonuclear warheads against the U.S. to level the playing field after the nuclear winter. Any launch of Russian nuclear missiles against China is redundant and pointless.

Since China has mutually assured destruction capability against the United States (by leveraging the Russian thermonuclear arsenal), this means the U.S. cannot pressure China in Asia or the South China Sea.

From the Bohai Sea or South China Sea, China's three Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs can maintain China's MAD capability against the United States.

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Three Chinese Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs seen at dock.

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By counting the launch tubes, it is obvious the Type 094 Jin-class SSBN carries 12 SLBMs.

[Note: Thank you to ChineseTiger1986 for the pictures.]
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:26 pm

A megaton-class EMP is not a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)

A year ago, in the comment section of The Economist, I explained that a megaton-class EMP (ie. electromagnetic pulse) is not a weapon of mass destruction (ie. WMD).

Today, in the comment section of the Global Times, I had to explain it again.

It seems to be a common misconception that an EMP is a WMD. It most certainly is not.

An EMP is a very clinical device that kills no one.

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Vietnam dancing between US alliance and Chinese brotherhood | Global Times

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:19 am

Best photographs of China's JL-2 8-MIRVed SLBM and DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM

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"Submarine launch of JL-2 SLBM"

Source: SLBM | Errymath's

Original Chinese source: 中国十天内进行两种新型洲际核导弹发射试验_军事_环球网

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"The PLA Second Artillery Corps, China’s strategic missile force, conducted a second test flight of its DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile on Dec. 13, according to the US website Washington Free Beacon."

Source: PLA Conducts 2nd Test Flight of DF-41 ICBM - Threat Journal by AlertsUSA
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:12 pm

How to distinguish between a Chinese DF-31A 3-MIRVed ICBM and a DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM

A common question is: "How do you distinguish between a DF-31A ICBM carried on a mobile TEL from a DF-41 ICBM?"

The answer is actually pretty simple. It is very hard to tell the difference by looking at the missile canister. You have to focus on the mobile TEL.

The mobile TEL for the DF-31A has a group of four wheels in the back with two groups of two wheels in the front. In contrast, the mobile TEL for the DF-41 has all eight wheels clustered together with even spacing between the wheels.

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Look at the white-wall tires on the DF-31A ICBM mobile TEL. There is a distinctive pattern of two groups of two wheels in the front half of the truck and a group of four wheels in the back of the truck.

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The wheels on the DF-41 ICBM mobile TEL are tightly clustered together with even spacing.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:51 pm

Comprehensive guide to identifying a Chinese DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM

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This is a Chinese DF-31A 3-MIRVed ICBM mobile TEL from the 2009 Chinese Military Parade. Everyone agrees on this. Notice the canister is short and is placed entirely behind the truck cabin.

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This is a Chinese DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM. On the left side of the picture, it sticks out beyond the truck like a DF-31A. However, on the right side of the picture, the missile canister extends beyond the truck bed. Since it is much longer and can carry more fuel, the DF-41 is clearly a larger missile.

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This is a picture of the DF-41 ICBM, because the wheel pattern is the same as the DF-41 picture above. You can't see it from this angle, but the missile extends beyond the middle of the truck cabin in the front.

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DF-41 seen on a public road. Look carefully at the unique double-ring with multiple horizontal bars near the end of the DF-41 canister. It is the same design in this picture and the first DF-41 picture above.

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Now, things get tricky. Some people get confused from this point forward.

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DF-41 undergoing tests. Notice the missile canister extends beyond the front of the truck cabin. You can see the bright rectangular headlight on the front right-side of the truck.

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DF-41 spotted on a public road in 2007. You are looking at the front of the truck, NOT the back. The DF-41 missile canister extends beyond the FRONT of the truck cabin. The distinctive rectangular headlights can be easily seen.

If I remember correctly, Hans Kristensen got confused and thought both of the pictures above showed the DF-31A. He said the canister resembled the DF-31A and not the DF-41, which has a double-ring.

In my opinion, Hans didn't realize he was looking at the wrong end of the DF-41 ICBM canister. Both pictures above show the FRONT of the DF-41 and not the back. The superficial resemblance between the front of the DF-41 canister and the back of the DF-31A canister is mere coincidence and has caused confusion. It only means China hired the same company to build the end-cover for its ICBM canisters.

We know both pictures above show the DF-41 ICBM, because the very first DF-41 ICBM picture showed a very long canister that splits the front cabin into two. The superlong DF-41 can only be carried by a truck with the DF-41 canister slung over the middle part of the cabin.

Look carefully at both pictures. The rectangular headlights are in the front. We are looking at the FRONT of the DF-41 ICBM mobile TEL.

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Now, I will explain why Broccoli was confused.

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This is a picture of China's DF-41 ICBM, because the superlong missile canister is slung over the middle part of the truck's cabin.

Broccoli didn't realize that every time you see a split cabin, it is a DF-41 ICBM (which is superlong and must extend over the front part of the mobile TEL). Broccoli took a wild guess, because he wasn't focused on the split cabin.

In conclusion, the three unique identifying characteristics of a Chinese DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM mobile TEL canister are a split-cabin in front of the truck to accommodate the superlong front of the missile, double-ring pattern in the back of the canister, and the tightly-grouped evenly-spaced eight truck tires.

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I want to add this final picture of China's DF-41 10-MIRVed ICBM to complete the collection of pictures. Obviously, we know it's a DF-41 because of the split-cabin in the front of the truck.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:44 am

China's DF-5, DF-5A, and DF-5B ICBMs

1. China's DF-5 ICBM was the original thermonuclear deterrent. The DF-5 first flew in 1971 and entered service in 1981. You can watch the May 18, 1980 DF-5 ICBM test for yourself in the video below. The DF-5 has been superseded by the DF-5A and DF-5B ICBMs.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37nHdfZF2b0

2. China's upgraded DF-5A ICBM has an effective range of 13,000km to 15,000km.

"When the DF-5 was first tested in September 1971, it had a range of 10,000 to 12,000 km which allowed it to threaten the western portions of the United States. Beginning in 1983 the Chinese inaugurated the improved DF-5A, with range increased to over 15,000 km and a more accurate guidance system. The DF-5A upgrade increased the throw-weight of the system from 3,000 kg to 3,200 kg."

There are five ways to increase the range of a missile.

a. Improve the nuclear warhead design and decrease the weight. Seismic tests have proven that China possesses the most advanced W88-equivalent thermonuclear warhead design. China has already optimized its thermonuclear warhead design.

China tested a series of advanced thermonuclear warheads from 1992 to 1996 (see China's Nuclear Testing Program). In 1995, "American experts analyzing [seismic data of] Chinese nuclear test results found similarities to America's most advanced miniature warhead, the W-88."

Only two nations have the W-88. The United States and China (with verified seismic data). By the way, the US never proved the Chinese W-88 was due to espionage. Without proof, we can only conclude the Chinese W-88 was convergent engineering. The Chinese seismic test was "similar," but not identical to the American W-88. Since the seismic data was not exactly the same, it strongly hints at a slightly different design.

Source (The New York Times): http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/ ... -nuke.html

"But it was not detected until 1995, when American experts analyzing Chinese nuclear test results found similarities to America's most advanced miniature warhead, the W-88."

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[Scroll down to the end of the article and look at the bottom-left corner]
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b. Use the latest generation of semiconductor chips and electronics to reduce the weight of the electronic guidance and control systems. For example, use lightweight fiber optic cables to replace heavier copper cables for data transmission. Given the small size of modern semiconductors and electronics, this avenue of weight reduction has probably run its course for China.

c. Increase the size of the missile. For example, the JL-1 SLBM has a launch weight of 14,700kg and a range of 2,150km. By increasing the size of the JL-2 SLBM to a launch weight of 42,000kg, the JL-2 SLBM has a range of at least 7,200km.

d. Reduce the weight of the ICBM by increasing the use of composite materials. The missile casing is a large part of the overall weight of the ICBM. By replacing as many metal casing parts with lightweight composites, the ICBM will fly further.

e. Improve the specific impulse of the rocket propellant. By researching and developing new rocket fuels with greater energy density, the ICBM can fly further on the same volume of rocket fuel.

3. China's latest DF-5B ICBM carries 10 MIRVed warheads with a half-megaton per warhead.

Since 1999, Richard Fisher has been discussing the Chinese DF-5B MIRVed ICBM. In the latest Pentagon report on Chinese Military Power, the Pentagon acknowledges the existence of the DF-5B/"enhanced DF-5" ICBM (see citation below).

There is a misconception that DF-5B ICBMs are not as useful during a time of war, because it requires two hours to fuel the liquid-fueled DF-5B ICBM. However, during times of increasing conflict, a DF-5B ICBM can be fueled ahead of time and put on stand-by for immediate launch.

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http://www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20121125_FisherLessisNotEnough112512.pdf (page 12 of 28)

"The 2012 China Report does mention an 'enhanced silo-based DF-5,' that could be a reference to the 'DF-5B,' which in 2010 an Asian military source told the author was a new MIRV version of the DF-5. This missile may also be capable of lofting 8 to 10 warheads. A large, detailed order of battle for the PLA that was posted on Chinese web pages in early 2012 indicates that there may already be two brigades, or up to 24 deployed DF-5B missiles.[44]"
Last edited by Martin Su on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:40 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:43 pm

China Fields New Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missile | The Washington Free Beacon

"China Fields New Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missile
DF-26C deployment confirmed
BY: Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz
March 3, 2014 4:59 am

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Chinese Internet photos first published Feb. 29, 2012 show China's new DF-26C intermediate-range ballistic missile.

U.S. intelligence agencies recently confirmed China’s development of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile (IRBM) called the Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C), U.S. officials said.

The new missile is estimated to have a range of at least 2,200 miles—enough for Chinese military forces to conduct attacks on U.S. military facilities in Guam
, a major hub for the Pentagon’s shift of U.S. forces to Asia Pacific.

As part of the force posture changes, several thousand Marines now based in Okinawa will be moved to Guam as part of the Asia pivot.

In April, the Pentagon announced it is deploying one of its newest anti-missile systems, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to Guam because of growing missile threats to the U.S. island, located in the South Pacific some 1,600 miles southeast of Japan and 4,000 miles from Hawaii.

And on Feb. 10, the Navy announced the deployment of a fourth nuclear attack submarine to Guam, the USS Topeka.

Chinese military officials said the Topeka deployment is part of the Pentagon’s Air Sea Battle Concept and posed a threat to China.

Disclosure of the new Chinese IRBM follows the announcement this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is sharply reducing its military forces.


“How can [U.S. policymakers] possibly justify such reductions in defense spending when American forces as far away as Guam, Korea, and Okinawa are targeted by these nuclear missiles,” said one official familiar with reports of the DF-26C.

It was the first official confirmation of China’s new IRBM, which officials believe is part of the People’s Liberation Army military buildup aimed at controlling the Asia Pacific waters and preventing the U.S. military entry to the two island chains along China’s coasts.

The first island chain extends from Japan’s southern Ryuku Islands southward and east of the Philippines and covers the entire South China Sea. The second island chain stretches more than a thousand miles into the Pacific in an arc from Japan westward and south to western New Guinea.

Few details could be learned about the new missile and a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.

The missile is said to be on a road-mobile chassis and to use solid fuel. The fuel and mobility allow the missile to be hidden in underground facilities and fired on short notice, making it very difficult to counter in a conflict.

The DF-26C is expected to be mentioned in the Pentagon’s forthcoming annual report on China’s military power, which is due to Congress next month.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told a congressional hearing this week that missile and other nuclear threats from China and Russia continue to grow.

“The current security environment is more complex, dynamic, and uncertain than at any time in recent history,” Haney said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Advances of significant nation state and non-state military capabilities continue across all air, sea, land, and space domains—as well as in cyberspace. This trend has the potential to adversely impact strategic stability.”

Russia and China in particular “are investing in long-term and wide-ranging military modernization programs to include extensive modernization of their strategic capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear weapons ambitions and the proliferation of weapon and nuclear technologies continue, increasing risk that countries will resort to nuclear coercion in regional crises or nuclear use in future conflicts.”

Richard Fisher, a China military affairs specialist, said Chinese reports have discussed a DF-26 missile as a medium-range or intermediate-range system. Medium-range is considered between 621 miles and 1,864 miles. Intermediate-range is between 1,864 and 3,418 miles

Online reports of three new types of medium- and intermediate-range missiles have said the weapons could be multi-role systems capable of firing nuclear or conventional warheads, along with maneuvering anti-ship and hypersonic warheads, Fisher said.

According to Fisher, two likely transporter erector launchers (TEL) for the new missiles were displayed last year on Chinese websites. They include two versions from missile TEL manufacturing companies called Sanjiang and Taian.

Three years ago, the state-run Global Times reported that the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) was working on a new 2,400-mile range missile that would be deployed by 2015.

That Chinese manufacturer also produced the DF-21 missile, prompting speculation that the DF-26C is a follow-up version of that system.

“China is developing and will soon deploy new longer-range theater missiles as part of its anti-access, area denial strategies, to be part of a combined force of new long-range bombers armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles, plus space weapons and larger numbers of submarines,” Fisher said in an email.

These forces are being deployed to push U.S. forces out of the first island chain and to have the capability to reach the second chain, including Guam, he said.

“China also consistently refuses to consider formal dialogue about its future nuclear forces or to consider any near term limits on them,” Fisher said. “China is giving Washington and its Asian allies no other choice but to pursue an ‘armed peace’ in Asia.”

According to Fisher, the Chinese missile buildup has forced the Navy to redesign its first aircraft carrier-based unmanned combat vehicle into a larger and longer aircraft.

The new Chinese long-range missiles also highlight the urgent need for a new U.S. long-range bomber to replace an aging fleet of strategic bombers. (article continues)"

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:21 pm

Known DF-5A and DF-5B ICBM silos

Map of known DF-5A and DF-5B ICBM silo locations

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Looking at an old map of known DF-5A and DF-5B silo locations, we see three brigades. Two brigades are DF-5A five-megaton single-warhead ICBMs and one brigade is DF-5B 10-MIRVed ICBMs.

As an aside, the map shows the locations of four DF-31A brigades.

However, it is reasonable to believe China has upgraded its remaining DF-5A ICBMs into the MIRVed DF-5B version. This is a normal response to U.S. missile defense efforts. 360 Chinese MIRVed thermonuclear warheads are more survivable than 36 Chinese thermonuclear warheads.

In the illustration below (from Richard Fisher in 1999), we can see that China had the ability to launch MIRVed warheads after it had successfully put multiple Iridium satellites into orbit. It is now 2014 and China had 15 years to improve its MIRV dispenser.

China Increases Its Missile Forces While Opposing U.S. Missile Defense

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To my knowledge, Richard Fisher was the first to notice the Pentagon's 2013 military report referred to China's "enhanced" DF-5 ICBM (or DF-5B ICBM). FYI, the DF-5 ICBM is also known as CSS-4 ICBM.

http://www.defense.gov/pubs/2013_china_report_final.pdf (page 31)

"By 2015, China’s nuclear forces will include additional CSS-10 Mod 2 and enhanced CSS-4 ICBMs."

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This leaves two remaining issues regarding China's DF-5A/DF-5B arsenal.

Firstly, there is a silo base near Lhasa. However, the Pentagon is silent on whether the Chinese Lhasa missile base is comprised of ICBMs. China has at least 60 MRBM mobile launchers in central China and it does not make sense to duplicate the military capability by having MRBM/IRBM silos. Thus, there is a good likelihood that the Lhasa silos contain ICBMs.

Video of Chinese missile silos in Tibet: Chinese missile site - in TIBET - YouTube

Secondly, how many more ICBM silos are located in China? China has the 3,000-mile Underground Great Wall and many mountain ranges that are ideal locations for more ICBM silos.
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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:20 pm

Federation of American Scientists lists four launch locations for China's DF-5A/B ICBMs

The Federation of American Scientists' (FAS) information is from year 2000.

The launch sites are located at Luoning, Wuzhai, Xuanhua, and Tongdao.

The launch sites may not be a comprehensive list. China might have built additional silos during the past 14 years. Also, there might have been secret silos that were unknown to FAS.

Four brigades of Chinese DF-5A/B ICBMs x 12 ICBMs per brigade = 48 DF-5A/B ICBMs

If all four brigades are DF-5B ICBMs:

48 DF-5B ICBMs x 10 MIRVs per DF-5B = 480 thermonuclear warheads

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DF-5 | Federation of American Scientists

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:38 am

Seven known Chinese DF-5A/B ICBM brigades

From the Federation of American Scientists, we know there are four DF-5A/B brigades at Luoning (804th brigade), Wuzhai (Base 25), Xuanhua, and Tongdao (805th brigade).[1]

From Air Power Australia, we know there are three more DF-5A/B brigades at Lushi (801st brigade) and Jingxian (803rd and 814th brigades).[2]

Assuming all seven brigades have been upgraded to DF-5B ICBMs (or will soon be fully upgraded in the near future):

7 DF-5B brigades x 12 DF-5B ICBMs per brigade x 10 MIRVs per DF-5B ICBM = 840 thermonuclear warheads

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References:

1. DF-5 | Federation of American Scientists

2. PLA Second Artillery Corps | Air Power Australia

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:49 am

Eight known Chinese DF-5A/B ICBM brigades

1. Luoning/Luoyang (804th brigade)
2. Wuzhai (Base 25)
3. Xuanhua
4. Tongdao (805th brigade)
5. Lushi (801st brigade)
6. Jingxian (803rd brigade)
7. Jingxian (814th brigade)
8. Hunan (818th brigade)

Assuming all eight brigades have been upgraded to DF-5B ICBMs (or will soon be fully upgraded in the near future):

8 DF-5B brigades x 12 DF-5B ICBMs per brigade x 10 MIRVs per DF-5B ICBM = 960 thermonuclear warheads

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References:

DF-5 | Federation of American Scientists

PLA Second Artillery Corps | Air Power Australia (54th and 55th bases)

MULTIMEGATON WEAPONS | Johnston Archive

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Re: China's 294 Megatons of Thermonuclear Firepower

Postby Martin Su » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:24 am

My tally of 96 Chinese DF-5A/B ICBMs matches earlier American intelligence estimate

My current tally of 96 Chinese DF-5A/B ICBMs (which is the equivalent of 8 brigades) was predicted by an earlier American intelligence estimate.

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WORLD NUCLEAR ARSENALS - CENTRE FOR DEFENSE INFORMATION

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