China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread

Discussion in 'Strategic Defense' started by peace_lover, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. kroko
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    kroko Senior Member

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    It has been easy for china to maintain "no first use policy" for decades because they have never faced an existencial crisis since they got nuclear weapons. And the reason that china has few nuclear weapons is because historically they didnt have the resources for massive buildup of nuclear forces. Only in the last 20 years or so, they have had the resources for it, but have choosen not to, because they are not in a cold war with anyone and they dont want to scare the internacional comunity.

    But now, with the proliferation of missile defence throughout the world, and the US and russia talking about nukes again, their tiny strategic nuclear force will come increasingly under pressure. Not saying that china will launch a big buildup of nuclear forces or change their "no first use policy", but who knows what will happen in the future?
     
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  2. SanWenYu
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    SanWenYu New Member
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    As long as China still sees the world in "peace and progress", it is in no rush for excessive expenditure in defense.

    So my guess is that China will keep improving efficiency and effectiveness of her nuclear weapons, instead of building up a larger stock.
     
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  3. tidalwave
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    tidalwave Junior Member
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    Oh yeah?! by 2020, China defense expenditures is projected doubled to more than $250 Billion.
    Different world you living in.
     
  4. antiterror13
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    antiterror13 Senior Member

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    Agree. Interesting as nobody (apart from "few" people in China) really knows how many nuke warheads China have.

    I persoanlly don't believe that China only have ~400 nukes (same number since 1980s when China' GDP now is over 65x more than in 1980), but let say for the sake of discussion that China had 500 nukes. How long do you think for China (if China had decided to build more, lets say today) to build another 500 nukes? 2 years? China has enough Putonium, Uranium and Fusion fuel to build thousands more
     
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  5. SanWenYu
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    SanWenYu New Member
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    Not everything has to be proportional to a nation's GDP.

    Building that many nukes might be easy. But keeping them in good shape, safe and always on guard will be not. And doing all that will cost big money. China does not see that as necessary.

    Also, as kroko pointed out, missle defense technologies are improving. It will bad idea to stockpile weapons that might become ineffective soon.

    This is, in my opinion, actually the same approach China is taking on conventional weapons, too. Spending in R&D has seen big increases but less so in production, except for PLAN because Chinese interests oversea need protection badly.

    It all boils down to priorities.
     
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  6. plawolf
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    plawolf Senior Member

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    Number of warheads becomes a pointless pissing contest once you get past a few hundred, because even you you set off 1000 nukes only in unpopulated deserts, it will still pretty much end the human civilisation as we know it.

    The amount of dust and debris that will throw up into he atmosphere will result in a nuclear winter at least a decade long. So that's 10 years of global sub-zero temperatures. Effectively no new food crops could be grown, animals, planets and fish numbers will crash and most of the world's population would starve and/or freeze to death before its over.

    It's the number and capabilities of the delivery vehicles that counts far more when it comes to nuclear arsenals. As well as survival.

    China's sea based deterrence is still weak, but that does not meant it cannot maintain a reliable second strike capability.

    Current China is relying on the extensive tunnel complexes it has built into mountain ranges to safeguard is nukes from a surprise first strike.

    Those tunnels are buried so deep even direct nuclear blasts are unlikely to be able to get at them, and there are so many exits and entrances it will be near impossible to try and block them inside by targeting exits.

    China's main issue is that its road mobile ICBMs could only reach a small fraction of the US from China.

    Once it has a reliable road mobile ICBM able to reach all of the US, expect China to invest in a significant number of missiles.

    100-200 such missiles carrying only 1 warhead each will be far beyond the capabilities of any foresable missile defence system. Add in multiple warheads, decoys and terminal maneuvering and it becomes a mugs game trying to build a missile shield able to stop all of that with any degree of confidence.

    So China needs to invest in delivery systems far more than in more warheads.
     
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  7. manqiangrexue
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    manqiangrexue Junior Member

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    And I fully support that increase and even more. That is not by any measure an excessive number compared to how the US spends. It is also not indicative of a collapse in China's peaceful rise. However, that money must be spent wisely; it should be used to develop new technologies, field new capabilities, and modernize the military into a lean and effective force. HGVs, stealth fighters, anti-stealth radar, next gen submarines, anti-submarine capabilities, ASBM, AWAC-killing missiles, satellite destroyers are all great ways to spend that money. Building massive numbers of conventional design nuclear warheads is not. Build 500 nuclear HGVs that cannot be intercepted and reach their targets faster; don't build 8,000 conventional nukes the majority of which you expect to be intercepted in mid course. It's a leaner force to maintain, probably cheaper, and it comes with technological advances that help build the next step.
     
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  8. manqiangrexue
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    manqiangrexue Junior Member

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    Wait, is this true? I'm thinking DF-41 can cover the whole of the US? So can later variants of DF-31?
     
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  9. antiterror13
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    antiterror13 Senior Member

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    Did I say "it has to be proprtional to GDP" ? ... it was statement from yourself, not me :mad:

    Very obvious GDP is a huge factor when you want to decide something big/expensive ... not the only factor obviously
     
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  10. Hyperwarp
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    Hyperwarp Senior Member

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    That is true for the old DF-31. In fact the DF-31 is more of a regional deterrent. But the DF-31A/31B have a range of 11,000+ km.

    The illustrations below mark the coverage from the very edge of the Chinese coast but even if the DF-31A/31B were placed deep inside China they still can reach a fair potion of the ConUS if not all.

    ICBM-Coverage-1.jpg

    ICBM-Coverage-2.jpg
     
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