Reports say Beijing regime recently completed successful testing of a new long-range ballistic missile capable of traveling 12,000 Kilometers, or 7,456 miles, in 30 minutes. China is located nearly 11,640 kilometers from the continental U.S. and the Chinese missile is estimated to have a capability to reach anywhere in the U.S., according to U.S. intelligence reports. The testing comes as tensions in the South China Sea increase to somewhat uncomfortable levels.
Chinese missile launched from mobile platform, can carry multiple nuclear warheads; China retrofitting old missile technology as well
China launched the Dongfeng-41 (East Wind, DF-41) missile from a mobile launch platform, an event monitored by the U.S. satellite tracking system in real time, according to the Washington Free Beacon, citing Pentagon sources. U.S. experts estimate the DF-41 to be an 80-ton, three-stage solid-fuel missile capable of carrying between six and 10 nuclear warheads, RT reported.
“China is re-engineering its long-range ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear warheads,” U.S. Strategic Command commander Adm. Cecil Haney said Jan. 22 speech.
The latest test report comes after a newsletter stated that China is nearing the deployment of its new JCBM Chinese missile program. Kanwa Asian Defense reported the new ICBM is in the final testing phase, and its expected deployment area will be near Xinyang in Henan province, in central China. Reports claim the DF-41 has the capability to deliver a payload of between six and 10 warheads, targeting any location in the U.S. from eastern China.
“Because MARV-equipped warheads are capable of performing preplanned flight maneuvers during reentry, they are more difficult to intercept and better able to penetrate adversary missile defenses,” a congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was noted.
“As with previous MIRV tests, the PLA has used a small number of reentry vehicles to mask the real capability of the DF-41, which is estimated to be able to loft up to 10 warheads,” Rick Fisher, a Cina military affairs analyst and senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, told the Washington Free Beacon. Fisher expects China to sharply increase the number of warheads as a result of the shift to multiple-warhead missiles. The Asian nation has begun retrofitting older DF-5 warheads with the MIRV multiple payload system, the report said.
China getting aggressive over U.S. moves in South China Sea as a major game of chess is being played out
The high profile test was reported to have taken place three days before U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the USS John C. Stennis, an aircraft carrier operating in the South China Sea and close to the disputed Spratly Islands that have been claimed by China.
Near the time of the test, a high-ranking Chinese general was reported to have made an “unusual” visit to the Spratty Islands near where Chinese military bases have been built. Pentagon officials suspected the timing was no accident the Chinese visit to Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands as Carter was in the region. Further, the position of Gen. Fan Changlong, chairman of the Central Military Commission, the most powerful military organ under the ruling Communist Party of China, also sent a strong message.
The Pentagon has claimed China is building military bases on disputed islands in the sea, while China claims the U.S. is militarizing the South China Sea through the vast number of warplanes in the region and its increasing tough talk with regional allies.