China’s most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the DF-41, made its debut at the National Day parade in Beijing on Tuesday, which Chinese military experts said was a message to the world that China had sufficient and reliable strategic nuclear power to respond to any “nuclear blackmail” from any country.
Sixteen transporter erector launchers of the DF-41 missile were inspected during the parade in Tiananmen Square on Tuesday.
A DF-41 missile has an operational range of more than 14,000 kilometers and can carry about 10 independently targetable nuclear warheads, capable of hitting anywhere on Earth, according to the United States think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, and this would make DF-41 the world’s longest range missile, surpassing the range of the US LGM-30 Minuteman which has a reported range of 13,000 kilometers.
Yang Chengjun, a Chinese expert on missile technology and nuclear strategy and chief scientist of quantum defense, told the Global Times that the DF-41 is a Chinese fourth-generation strategic nuclear weapon and has the longest operational range among all Chinese ICBMs.
“This ICBM’s research and development was very successful, and its technology is very mature. During testing, there was no failure record,” Yang noted.
Wu Jian, editor of Defense Weekly under the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News, told the Global Times that the multiple transporter erector launchers of the DF-41 missile shown in the parade proved that the People’s Liberation Army has already built a massive and advanced system to support the use of this missile.
“This proves that China has sufficient and reliable strategic nuclear power, and decision-makers have the confidence to show and use them to respond to any kind of nuclear threat from any country.”
“No matter how advanced the missile is, it always needs a mature and comprehensive system to make sure it can accurately strike a target, which at least includes intelligence gathering, satellite surveillance, logistics, and construction of launching positions,” Wu noted.