China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


Temstar

Junior Member
Registered Member
Recent footage of a Long March 11 launch carrying 9 satellites.


Looks more like a canister-launched ballistic missile launch. 9 satellites could be 9 MIRVs for a DF equivalent missile. Maybe a veiled statement for China's enemies?
Yes, Long March 11 is based on DF-31. Solid fuel and can go from storage to ready for launch in under 24 hours. Designed to rapidly replace lost satellite during war time.
 

SoupDumplings

Junior Member
Registered Member
Hi, I'm not sure if this should go to the anti-ship thread, but I found this twitter thread really interesting. This seems to imply that China can produce more than 100 DF-26 missiles a year. Do you guys think that this could be an underestimation of the actual size of China's missile arsenal? And does anyone have any papers estimating China's missile production capability? Thanks.

 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Well now US admiral now imply that China's SLBM can reach conus. Fear mongering ?
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Chinese Nuke Arsenal Next on Beijing’s ‘To-Do’ List, US Commander Warns
By Carla Babb
September 14, 2020 04:25 PM

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WASHINGTON - The commander in charge of the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal has warned that increasing China’s nuclear stockpile is “next” on Beijing’s “to-do list.”

Speaking Monday to reporters at the Pentagon, U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard said that while the United States has “no margin” of error left to start recapitalizing its nuclear force, China has a proven record of steadily building its military. He cited the example of how Beijing has built more than 250 ships for the country’s newly established coast guard in just the past seven years.
“When China sets its mind to something, they are very impressive in their ability to go accomplish it,” Richard said. “Their strategic forces are next on their to do list, right, and I'm trying to posture us for the threat that we're going to face, not the one that we have today.”

The U.S. can deliver a nuclear strike by sea, air and land through submarines, aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles, a capability often referred to as the nuclear triad.
Earlier this month, a Pentagon report raised concern about China’s pursuit of a nuclear triad while predicting that Beijing will “at least double” the size of its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade. There was no response from the Chinese government.

According to the Pentagon’s annual “China Military Power” report to Congress, which was released September 1, in the past 15 years the Chinese navy has constructed 12 nuclear submarines, six of which provide China’s first “credible, sea-based nuclear deterrent.” By the mid-2020s it will likely build a new, guided-missile nuclear attack submarine that could provide a secret land-attack option if equipped with land-attack cruise missiles.
'Watershed moment'

“I get apprehensive that we are not fully conscious as a nation of the threats that we face. China now has the capability … to directly threaten our homeland from a ballistic missile submarine. That's a pretty watershed moment,” Richard said Monday.
China lacks the ability to launch nuclear weapons from the air, but the Pentagon report said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) publicly revealed the H-6N bomber as its first nuclear capable air-to-air refueling bomber late last year.
 
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Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
The latest from Hans Kristensen FAS take it with a lot o salt
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A modified map, apparently
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by U.S. Pacific Air Forces, is a little better because it includes Australian, Japanese, and South Korean forces. But it still significantly mischaracterizes the forces the United States has in the Pacific or are assigned missions in the region. Moreover, the new map does not include the yellow highlights showing “hypersonics” missiles and portion of aircraft, ships, and submarines that are modern (see modified map below).

A modified map released after the INDO-PACOM briefing also shows Australian, Japanese, and South Korean forces – but still mischaracterizes U.S. military forces in the Pacific.
Inconsistent Missile Numbers
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The INDO-PACOM maps are also interesting because the numbers for Chinese IRBMs and MRBMs are different than those presented in the
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on Chinese military developments. INDO-PACOM lists 250 IRBMs/MRBMs, more than 100 missiles fewer than the DOD estimate. China has fielded one IRBM (DF-26), a dual-capable missile that exists in two versions: one for land-attack (most DF-26s are of this version) and one for anti-ship attack. China operates four versions of the DF-21 MRBM: the nuclear DF-21A and DF-21E, the conventional land-attack DF-21C, and the conventional anti-ship DF-21D.

There is also a difference in the number of SRBMs, which INDO-PACOM sets at 1,000, while the DOD report lists 600+. The 600+ could hypothetically be 1,000, but the INDO-PACOM number shows that the high-end of the 750-1,500 range reported by the 2019 DOD China report probably was too high.

A comparison (see table below) is complicated by the fact that the two reports appear to use slightly different terminology, some of which seems inconsistent. For example, INDO-PACOM lists “missiles” but the low IRBM/MRBM estimate suggests it refers to launchers. However, the high number of SRBMs listed suggest it refers to missiles.

Several of the Chinese missile estimates provided by INDO-PACOM and DOD are inconsistent.
2025 Projection

The projection made by INDO-PACOM for 2025 shows significant additional increases of Chinese forces, except in the number of SRBMs.

The ICBM force is expected to increase to 150 missiles from 100 today. That projection implies China will field an average of 10 new ICBMs each year for the next five years, or about twice the rate China has been fielding new ICBMs over the past two decades. Fifty ICBMs corresponds to about four new brigades. About 20 of the 50 new ICBMs are probably the DF-41s that have already been displayed in PLARF training areas, military parades, and factories. The remaining 30 ICBMs would have to include more DF-41s, DF-31AGs, and/or the rumored DF-5C, but it seems unlikely that China can add enough new ICBM brigade bases and silos in just five years to meet that projection.

The briefing also projects that 50 of the 150 ICBMs by 2025 will be equipped with “hypersonics.” The reference to “hypersonics” as something new is misleading because existing ICBMs already carry warheads that achieve hypersonic speed during reentry. Instead, the term “hypersonics” probably refers to a new hypersonic glide vehicle. It is unclear from the briefing if INDO-PACOM anticipates the new payload will be nuclear or conventional, but a conventional ICBM payload obviously would be a significant development with serious implications for crisis stability. Even if this expansion comes true, the entire Chinese ICBM force would only be one-third of the size of the U.S. ICBM force. Nonetheless, a Chinese ICBM force of 100-150 is still a considerable increase compared with the 40 or so ICBMs it operated two decades ago (see graph below).

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gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think I had said before I thought the US numbers on Chinese nuclear weapons were too low. Now they seem to be exaggerating the other way around. I think at most the Chinese Army will double the amount of brigades. But what is most likely to happen, I think, is simply the replacement of the DF-31 brigades with DF-41 and changing the DF-4 silos also with the DF-41. I also expect China to eventually develop a missile to replace the DF-5. Perhaps a DF-41 variant. Because of increased throw weight and MIRV capability of DF-41 vs DF-4 and DF-31 the number of nuclear warheads might increase.

All the ICBMs China has with shorter range than the DF-31A need to be replaced. Since they can't hit all the targets in the continental US. The liquid fueled ICBMs like the DF-4 and DF-5 are an economic drag and require a lot of maintenance and expense because of their corrosive fuel.

New Type 096 SSBNs will enter service with 12-16 JL-3 missiles each. I also expect the Type 094 SSBNs to remain in service for that least a decade after the Type 096s enter service.

The big question is the IRBMs and other short range nuclear ballistic missiles and air delivered missiles and the like. Contrary to the US, China has a lot of possible opponents close to its borders, so their demand for this should be higher.
 
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davidau

Junior Member
Registered Member
Well now US admiral now imply that China's SLBM can reach conus. Fear mongering ?
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Chinese Nuke Arsenal Next on Beijing’s ‘To-Do’ List, US Commander Warns
By Carla Babb
September 14, 2020 04:25 PM

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


WASHINGTON - The commander in charge of the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal has warned that increasing China’s nuclear stockpile is “next” on Beijing’s “to-do list.”

Speaking Monday to reporters at the Pentagon, U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard said that while the United States has “no margin” of error left to start recapitalizing its nuclear force, China has a proven record of steadily building its military. He cited the example of how Beijing has built more than 250 ships for the country’s newly established coast guard in just the past seven years.
“When China sets its mind to something, they are very impressive in their ability to go accomplish it,” Richard said. “Their strategic forces are next on their to do list, right, and I'm trying to posture us for the threat that we're going to face, not the one that we have today.”

The U.S. can deliver a nuclear strike by sea, air and land through submarines, aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles, a capability often referred to as the nuclear triad.
Earlier this month, a Pentagon report raised concern about China’s pursuit of a nuclear triad while predicting that Beijing will “at least double” the size of its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade. There was no response from the Chinese government.

According to the Pentagon’s annual “China Military Power” report to Congress, which was released September 1, in the past 15 years the Chinese navy has constructed 12 nuclear submarines, six of which provide China’s first “credible, sea-based nuclear deterrent.” By the mid-2020s it will likely build a new, guided-missile nuclear attack submarine that could provide a secret land-attack option if equipped with land-attack cruise missiles.
'Watershed moment'

“I get apprehensive that we are not fully conscious as a nation of the threats that we face. China now has the capability … to directly threaten our homeland from a ballistic missile submarine. That's a pretty watershed moment,” Richard said Monday.
China lacks the ability to launch nuclear weapons from the air, but the Pentagon report said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) publicly revealed the H-6N bomber as its first nuclear capable air-to-air refueling bomber late last year.
Why did Richard say threat from China? Question: how many nuclear warheads US and Russia each has? Why suddenly China increases its defence posture, US's jumping up and down and accuses China threat? How much China spending on defence compared with US? It is worth your while to check your maths!
 

styx

Junior Member
Registered Member
Hi, I'm not sure if this should go to the anti-ship thread, but I found this twitter thread really interesting. This seems to imply that China can produce more than 100 DF-26 missiles a year. Do you guys think that this could be an underestimation of the actual size of China's missile arsenal? And does anyone have any papers estimating China's missile production capability? Thanks.

germany produced 2000 v2 srbm in one year under the allied bombs, v2 for the time was a weapon far more advanced than today solid fuel missiles. If china wants it can easily saturate the area with high precision warheads
 

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