China is moving ahead with the development of a new and improved generation
of intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Dongfeng-41, or DF-41. The country
is also developing the capability to put as many as 10 nuclear warheads on an
ICBM. The 2nd Artillery Corps, China’s strategic nuclear missile force,
test-launched the missile last month.
China has tested its latest intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41.
It’s believed to have a maximum strike distance of 14,000 kilometers. The new
missile’s mobility, range, precision, and warhead yield combine to give it
formidable first-strike nuclear capability.
But China claims it won’t be the first to use nuclear weapons and that its
nuclear forces are designed for a counterstrike against a nuclear attack on its
Right now, China’s nuclear and conventional ballistic missiles are all
controlled by the PLA Second Artillery Corps. Established in July 1966, it has
several divisions: the ground-to-ground strategic nuclear missile force, the
conventional operational-tactical missile force, and support units.
The Second Artillery Force has been keen to modernize its hardware over the
Lan Jiyin, director of Military Training Dept., PLA Second Artillery Corps,
said, "To enhance the all-round capacity of the forces, we have been carrying
out exercises in different areas and under extreme weather conditions and
complex electromagnetic environments. A missile can now be launched at any time
and strike multiple targets."
To gain the initiative in battle, the Corps has developed advanced
technologies, high adaptability and comprehensive tactics. China’s strategic
missiles have become progressively smaller, lighter, faster and more
All missiles can run on solid fuel. Meanwhile, an all-female launch group has
also been set up as part of the force.
With a renewed effort to bolster China’s missile capability, China’s
artillery forces are deepening their tactics and becoming more and more
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