China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


Moghaddam's Head

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Hi there, blog writer here. I can lay out the evidence as to why MOST DF-31A brigades have twelve launchers.

First thing we can do is look at the infrastructure of each brigade base. DF-31 brigade garrisons are built to a very particular standard. You can spot it if you look at each location. The launcher garages are all long, usually around 25 meter drive-through garages (meaning, the garage is open at both ends). This is the only system in the PLARF that uses this drive-through configuration. Now originally, most of the brigade bases only have a single set of garages for support vehicles and launchers. So the TOE was six launchers, six launch control vehicles, six command vehicles, eighteen cable vans, and eighteen support equipment vans. Over the past five to six years we've been seeing brigade bases build more infrastructure to host more launchers and more support equipment. I've attached before and after shots of Yuxi, a confirmed DF-31A garrison, so you can see what I am talking about. The drive-through garages are the things in the upper right, in the middle of the garages.yuxi 1.jpgyuxi 2.jpg

Second piece of evidence is the latest numbers from US gov's China Military Power Report 2019. The report gives us the total number of launchers in each range class, so the total number of deployed ICBM launchers is cited to be 90. Because we know the ORBAT for the PLARF, we can break that down based on each brigade. The silo forces are the easiest to count - they have three brigades, each with six silos, so subtract 18 launchers, giving us a remaining total of 72 launchers. All these remaining launchers are DF-31 or DF-31A brigades (the deployment location for the DF-41 is still under construction, and is thus not yet deployed). Because we accurately measure the infrastructure at each brigade base, we can estimate how that breaks down, as the PLARF has exactly 72 places to deploy the DF-31 and its variants. Five of the brigades have twleve launchers, and two have only six, which is why I say that DF-31 brigades USUALLY have twelve launchers.

Finally, we can count brigade numbers my examining where they build the vehicle TELs. I have an article coming up that delves into this in more detail, and I don't want to snipe myself on it on this forum, but basically because the production locations ship completed TELs out in brigade sized batches, we can see a completed brigade set before they deploy, which serves as additional confirmation that brigades have 12 launchers per brigade.

As a note, Hans actually does say in his count that the DF-31 and its variants have six or twelve launchers per brigade, he's just counting less launchers than I am. He counts one DF-31 brigade with six launchers, two DF-31A brigades with twelve launchers, and two more DF-31AG brigades each with twelve launchers, for a total of five brigades. There's some disputes over the two brigades that I'll get into at a later date.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
That is right Sometime people forgot Japanese role in Chinese modernization though Japanese thought their assistance is not free or large But they paly important role in technology transfer because in the 60's when China start the modernization of infrastructure. Most of the harbors, railways, airport are built by the Japanese companies. I remembber 16 harbors and 2 electrified trunk line.Power plant etc Latter modern manufacturing move en mass to china again transfer of technology and management.

Even today with semiconductor many japanese semiconductor are supplying Huawei and robotic stepper motor from Fuji.

Certainly the government is toeing to US out of obvious reason But there are in Japan who see that their future will hinge on China and they make preparation for that day specially among the industrialist Keidanren.
It's the politicians as well who see Japan's future is in a Chinese orbit.

Tokyo Mayor Ishihara Shintaro was on record as saying they needed to solidify control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island now, because in the future, China would be so big it could easily overwhelm Japan from both an economic and military point of view.

Ishihara Shintaro was famous for authoring the nationalistic book "The Japan That Can Say No: Why Japan Will Be First Among Equals" when Japan thought it could compete with the USA in the 1980s.

And when Abe Shinzo was Prime Minister the first time around, he was in favour of engagement in China (and still is).
It was for the same reason as he also saw China as Japan's future/challenge.

Anyway, back on topic.
 

hullopilllw

Junior Member
Registered Member
It's the politicians as well who see Japan's future is in a Chinese orbit.

Tokyo Mayor Ishihara Shintaro was on record as saying they needed to solidify control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island now, because in the future, China would be so big it could easily overwhelm Japan from both an economic and military point of view.

Ishihara Shintaro was famous for authoring the nationalistic book "The Japan That Can Say No: Why Japan Will Be First Among Equals" when Japan thought it could compete with the USA in the 1980s.

And when Abe Shinzo was Prime Minister the first time around, he was in favour of engagement in China (and still is).
It was for the same reason as he also saw China as Japan's future/challenge.
So how much leverage do you feel Japan has over China, currently. Has it reached a tipping point ? When will it be considered "big it could easily overwhelm Japan" ?
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
So how much leverage do you feel Japan has over China, currently. Has it reached a tipping point ? When will it be considered "big it could easily overwhelm Japan" ?
China currently is larger than Japan as follows:

Population: 11x
GDP (nominal): approx 3x
GDP (PPP): approx 5x
Military spending (nominal): approx 5x
Military spending (PPP): approx 8x

It's difficult to say when the tipping point will be, as it is depends on a mix of factors.

Perhaps in 10-15 years time, when the Chinese economy and military spending could be 2x bigger than today.

Anyway, back to the topic.
 

MrCrazyBoyRavi

Junior Member
Registered Member
When you pay 250 nukes as premium for Natiobal security , you will get stupid coverage when actual shooting war occurs. Ads by Geico
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Ok guys ... with the next post containing anything on a potential Japanese nuclear arsenal and their Plutonium stockpile I will delete the whole discussion of this off-top stuff! :mad:

The topic is China Ballistic missiles ... and not Japan!
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Second piece of evidence is the latest numbers from US gov's China Military Power Report 2019. The report gives us the total number of launchers in each range class, so the total number of deployed ICBM launchers is cited to be 90. Because we know the ORBAT for the PLARF, we can break that down based on each brigade. The silo forces are the easiest to count - they have three brigades, each with six silos, so subtract 18 launchers, giving us a remaining total of 72 launchers. All these remaining launchers are DF-31 or DF-31A brigades (the deployment location for the DF-41 is still under construction, and is thus not yet deployed). Because we accurately measure the infrastructure at each brigade base, we can estimate how that breaks down, as the PLARF has exactly 72 places to deploy the DF-31 and its variants. Five of the brigades have twleve launchers, and two have only six, which is why I say that DF-31 brigades USUALLY have twelve launchers.
I don't think it's at all clear from the DoD report that it doesn't include DF-41 in their assesment. It could very well include them. So something like 20-ish launchers out of those 90 could be for DF-41.

Finally, we can count brigade numbers my examining where they build the vehicle TELs. ...because the production locations ship completed TELs out in brigade sized batches, we can see a completed brigade set before they deploy, which serves as additional confirmation that brigades have 12 launchers per brigade.
Not sure I understand you here. Are you saying there are actual images of the launchers at production facilities out there? And that some images show 12 launchers together? If so, please do present such an image here, that would be very much a big piece of news, if such image exists. And if it's a satellite image, please do supply the coordinates of the location as well.

As a note, Hans actually does say in his count that the DF-31 and its variants have six or twelve launchers per brigade, he's just counting less launchers than I am. He counts one DF-31 brigade with six launchers, two DF-31A brigades with twelve launchers, and two more DF-31AG brigades each with twelve launchers, for a total of five brigades. There's some disputes over the two brigades that I'll get into at a later date.
In the 2019 edition of Chinese nuke forces Hans says he thinks there are 4 DF31A brigades with 6 launchers each for a total of 24 launchers. And DF31 having a total of 6 launchers. Implying there's just one unit.
And he says there are 24 DF31AG launchers but also doesn't give number of brigades. There could be, of course, just 2 or 3 brigades for those, if the launcher numbers increased. And and you yourself say, there are some indications SOME of the DF31 family units do seem to have increased number of launchers, compared to initial brigade sizes.
 

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