China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Now for me this is more exciting than the space plane launch.
This propels China into the select club of countries that can acquire
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satellite imagery, meaning the resolution is high enough to identify small hand-held weapons. Presumably the only members of this club are the US and now China, and that will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, with maybe Russia joining them later if the
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program fulfills its promises.


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Here is the video

The most interesting part is this image of the satellite still attached to the third stage of the Long March rocket.

gf11.jpg


Knowing the stage has a diameter of 2.9m, and is almost completely parallel to the virtual camera, the diameter of the satellite’s aperture can be estimated at 1.7m. That means it carries a big mirror: the largest mirror carried by a commercial Earth Observation satellite is Worldview 3 & 4 ‘s 1.1m mirror, manufactured in the USA by ITT Exelis. For non-commercial satellites, the French have published images of their Helios 2 spy satellites, suggesting they have a 1.4m mirror. GF-1 beats them all, and is in fact only outclassed in its category of an optical imaging satellite by two US products:

– the Hubble Space Telescope, which has a 2.4m mirror working at optical wavelengths

– the KENNEN optical spy satellites, generally known under the KH-11 designation, which are rumoured to have a similar mirror size to Hubble. This is supported by the fact that the National Reconnaissance Office gifted two 2.4m optical mirrors it no longer had use for to NASA, which plans to use it for its WFIRST observatory. Additionally, people who have seen high-resolution images of these satellites have described them as “
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“.

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Artist’s view of a KH-11 based on a modified Hubble image. Credit The Space Teview
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The Hubble Space Telescope
So China seems to have accomplished a great leap forward in space optics. As GF-11 is positioned on a 470km circular 247x693km elliptical orbit, a 1.7m mirror would give it a ground resolution of 8 to 10cm at perigee, at around 10AM local solar time and at 20°N, right over India and the South China Sea. At the average altitude of 470km, the resolution is still 15 to 20cm, surpassing all commercial satellites and most reconnaissance satellites. This propels China into the select club of countries that can acquire
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satellite imagery, meaning the resolution is high enough to identify small hand-held weapons. Presumably the only members of this club are the US and now China, and that will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, with maybe Russia joining them later if the
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program fulfills its promises.


gf11 2
Another view of GF-11, showing a similar architecture to Hubble
 

Rachmaninov

Junior Member
Registered Member
Now for me this is more exciting than the space plane launch.
This propels China into the select club of countries that can acquire
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
satellite imagery, meaning the resolution is high enough to identify small hand-held weapons. Presumably the only members of this club are the US and now China, and that will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, with maybe Russia joining them later if the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
program fulfills its promises.


Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Here is the video

The most interesting part is this image of the satellite still attached to the third stage of the Long March rocket.

gf11.jpg


Knowing the stage has a diameter of 2.9m, and is almost completely parallel to the virtual camera, the diameter of the satellite’s aperture can be estimated at 1.7m. That means it carries a big mirror: the largest mirror carried by a commercial Earth Observation satellite is Worldview 3 & 4 ‘s 1.1m mirror, manufactured in the USA by ITT Exelis. For non-commercial satellites, the French have published images of their Helios 2 spy satellites, suggesting they have a 1.4m mirror. GF-1 beats them all, and is in fact only outclassed in its category of an optical imaging satellite by two US products:

– the Hubble Space Telescope, which has a 2.4m mirror working at optical wavelengths

– the KENNEN optical spy satellites, generally known under the KH-11 designation, which are rumoured to have a similar mirror size to Hubble. This is supported by the fact that the National Reconnaissance Office gifted two 2.4m optical mirrors it no longer had use for to NASA, which plans to use it for its WFIRST observatory. Additionally, people who have seen high-resolution images of these satellites have described them as “
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
“.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Artist’s view of a KH-11 based on a modified Hubble image. Credit The Space Teview
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The Hubble Space Telescope
So China seems to have accomplished a great leap forward in space optics. As GF-11 is positioned on a 470km circular 247x693km elliptical orbit, a 1.7m mirror would give it a ground resolution of 8 to 10cm at perigee, at around 10AM local solar time and at 20°N, right over India and the South China Sea. At the average altitude of 470km, the resolution is still 15 to 20cm, surpassing all commercial satellites and most reconnaissance satellites. This propels China into the select club of countries that can acquire
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
satellite imagery, meaning the resolution is high enough to identify small hand-held weapons. Presumably the only members of this club are the US and now China, and that will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, with maybe Russia joining them later if the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
program fulfills its promises.


gf11 2
Another view of GF-11, showing a similar architecture to Hubble
Sorry, but... 31 July 2018?
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Here more recent news Andrew Ericson take on the recent Pentagon report even it is compilation of publicly available information but they do have "for eyes only" of the same report not open to public
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Third, China’s long-established approach of maintaining launchers, missiles, and warheads separated in peacetime may be changing in important ways, at least at the margins. The report states that “nuclear and conventional PLARF [PLA Rocket Force] brigades conduct ‘combat readiness duty’ and ‘high alert duty’ which apparently includes assigning a missile battalion to be ready to launch, and rotating to standby positions as much as monthly for unspecified periods of time. Authoritative PLA textbooks on strategy state ‘high alert duty’ is valuable for the defender in a nuclear war, recommending the PLARF adopt a high alert posture conceptually comparable to the claimed high alert posture kept by portions of U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, and that such a posture is compatible with the PRC’s active defense concept, NFU policy, and post-strike response approach.”

Additionally, public photos document the development of new missile silos, part of a broader set of indications that China “intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces by moving to a launch-on-warning (LOW) posture with an expanded silo-based force.” The report reasons as follows: “Commercial imagery from 2019 has revealed that China has constructed an ICBM silo at one of the PLARF’s Western training ranges that is smaller than China’s existing CSS-4 (DF-5) silos. According to state media, the CSS-X-20 (DF-41) ICBM can be launched from silos; this site is probably being used to at least develop a concept of operations for silo basing this system. There are also some indications that China may be building new CSS-4 (DF-5) ICBM silos.”

A Rocket Force to Be Reckoned With:

China’s enormous world-class rocket forces have benefitted, from, among other things, more ballistic missile testing and training launches “than the rest of the world combined” in 2019. The clear implication: watch that space!

Straddling the nuclear and conventional realm, itself a concerning area of growing emphasis for China, is
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. It is designed to be able to attack both land targets (e.g., military facilities on Guam) and sea targets (e.g., a carrier strike group operating in the region). Intriguingly, the report states: “PRC strategists have highlighted the need for lower-yield nuclear weapons in order to increase the deterrence value of China’s nuclear force without defining specific nuclear yield values. A 2017 defense industry publication indicated a lower-yield weapon had been developed for use against campaign and tactical targets that would reduce collateral damage. The DF26 is China’s first nuclear-capable missile system that can conduct precision strikes, and therefore, is the most likely weapon system to field a lower-yield warhead in the near-term.” The author is neither able to find any open sources that elaborate on this point, nor is surprised at their apparent paucity or difficulty to access.

The inventory of this versatile, highly advanced missile is growing rapidly. In this regard, the following line from the report should grab policy-makers’ attention: “The PLA has fielded approximately 200 IRBM launchers and more than 200 missiles.” Since the only other PRC missiles universally-recognized as true IRBMs by range would be the few if any remaining DF-3s, it is reasonable to assume that the vast majority of these 200 IRBMs are DF-26s. That single system’s dominance of China’s arsenal within that set of operationally-important range parameters would seem to represent great confidence in it--no need to hedge Beijing’s bets with multiple types with broadly overlapping capabilities. It would represent extraordinarily fast production and deployment in highly-consequential numbers, itself a related sign of confidence, of a leading-edge weapons system.

The potential ramifications are nothing short of explosive: if China can successfully operate so many advanced missiles within that range category, it could well pursue a targeting doctrine that employed additional numbers of missiles fired to compensate for any remaining limitations in their accuracy. That math already has the potential to look problematic. Unfortunately, given its world-leading missile production capabilities and asymmetric advantage in making the most of them, it is scarcely plausible that China stopped producing DF-26s at the end of 2019. As early as next year’s report, we may receive worrisome news of further brigades’ worth of missiles added to the PLARF’s DF-26 arsenal.

Should China’s DF-26 inventory grow significantly larger still, what will the related operational equations look like then? At what point might exchange ratios begin to look so unforgiving for U.S. and allied navies as to impose highly-disruptive psychological effects of their own? U.S. officials will need to get out ahead of this potential crisis with solid answers to China’s missile challenge and the questions that it may soon generate. If there is one issue revealed in the report that policy-makers should follow up on immediately, this is arguably the one!

This raises a related point: given its determination to increasingly deter and thereby effectively restrict U.S. Navy operations along China’s contested maritime periphery and its Indo-Pacific approaches, it is no coincidence that the PRC has developed and deployed two major
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:
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.

Consider their potential complementarity, as detailed by the Department of Defense: “The DF-21D has a range exceeding 1,500 km, is fitted with a maneuverable reentry vehicle (MARV) warhead, and is claimed to be capable of rapidly reloading in the field. The PLARF continues to grow its inventories of DF-26 IRBM, which it first revealed in 2015 and fielded in 2016. The multirole DF-26 is designed to rapidly swap conventional and nuclear warheads and is capable of conducting precision strikes in the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea from mainland China.”

If Beijing increasingly believes that it has real prospects of targeting effectively U.S. and allied vessels (1) out to the First Island Chain with the
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and (2) out to the Second Island Chain in the Western Pacific as well as into the Indian Ocean with the DF-26,
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? (My hunch: some increasingly strong version of “not good.”) All the more reason to digest and address the report’s key findings with alacrity.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Well seem like China just launch Gaofen 11-2 via Jsch. It is almost 2 years since they launched Gaofen 11-1 What improvement have they made since then ?

At 13:57 on September 7, 2020, China used the Long March 4B carrier rocket at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center to successfully put the Gaofen-11 02 satellite into the preset orbit, and the launch was a complete success. Gaofen-11 02 is an optical remote sensing satellite with a ground pixel resolution of up to sub-meter level. It is mainly used for land surveys, urban planning, land right confirmation, road network design, crop yield estimation, disaster prevention and mitigation, and other area, which can provide information support for the construction of the “Belt and Road”. This mission is the 345th flight of the Long March series of carrier rockets. (Photo: Zheng tao tao)



1599460610867.png
 

Josh Luo

Senior Member
Registered Member
200 (and growing) DF-26 is a lot of dead carriers.
The U.S. manufactured 276 Pershing IIs during the 80s, and the USSR deployed more than 600 SS-20 IRBMs. Thus, 200 DF-26 is not yet (but not that far off) at the Cold War level IRBM deployment.
 

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