China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


Ndla2

New Member
Registered Member
Im not a nuclear physicist but Adm. Charles Richard, the head of us strategic command said that plutonium does indeed can be used to make nuclear warheads
Agree with you. And we don't have to be a nuclear physicist to know that simple fact.

When i was in my primary school, my science teacher told me that Fat Man was using plutonium while Little Boy was using Uranium. Since then i know that both of those materials can be used to make nuclear warheads.
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
Im not a nuclear physicist but Adm. Charles Richard, the head of us strategic command said that plutonium does indeed can be used to make nuclear warheads

I have to quote myself : "
Can't make useful warhead from civilian plutonium.

Require too big critical mass .
"

The warhead will be several tons instead of hundred kg. Means only special, heavy bombers or ships can deliver them.
 

bajingan

Junior Member
I have to quote myself : "
Can't make useful warhead from civilian plutonium.

Require too big critical mass .
"

The warhead will be several tons instead of hundred kg. Means only special, heavy bombers or ships can deliver them.
I see, thanks for the info
But can China current or future bombers eg; Xian H-20 carry them? I heard it has 20 tons of payload capability
 

Ndla2

New Member
Registered Member
I have to quote myself : "
Can't make useful warhead from civilian plutonium.

Require too big critical mass .
"

The warhead will be several tons instead of hundred kg. Means only special, heavy bombers or ships can deliver them.
From my reading, you could actually enrich reactor-grade plutonium to weapon-grade. You just need to have the isotope separation facility.
 

voyager1

Senior Member
Registered Member
interesting news from Charles Richard, head of the US strategic command.

it's great relief for those who worry about China's small number of nukes.

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Don't mind him. He is just trying to get justification for the massive cost of modernising the US nuclear systems (I think the total cost was 1 trillion dollars...)
 

ougoah

Major
Registered Member
interesting news from Charles Richard, head of the US strategic command.

it's great relief for those who worry about China's small number of nukes.

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It's been publicly mentioned and leaked (though rarely given much dialogue and attention here) that China has been developing a new generation (if I recall China's already on it's third gen) of nuclear weapons. Part of the reason why they ever went nuts with >4000 warheads like cold war soviet union and USA, was probably partly and not limited to not put too much fissile material into mass producing older generation weapons.

Anyway, nukes are old hat. Important and absolutely vital for security but I'd bet the existing WMDs of the 21st century are still kept hidden under many layers not only in China.
 

Kaeshmiri

Junior Member
Registered Member
interesting news from Charles Richard, head of the US strategic command.

it's great relief for those who worry about China's small number of nukes.

Top military official warns China and Russia are modernizing nuclear weapons faster than US

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China may well have more nukes than anticipated but lets not trust the words of US.
US has always had a habit of exaggerating the abilities of their adversaries to justify their bloated military budget. Fear mongering is the only way the Pentagon and the MIC gets their money .
 

ougoah

Major
Registered Member
Never mind him. He is just trying to get justification for the massive cost of modernising the US nuclear systems (I think the total cost was 1 trillion dollars...)

That's what happens when you have over 3000 warheads and contractor costs and salaries that are comedic. No, not because of higher quality etc but because doing anything just costs a ridiculous amount there and often the contractors have an entire chain of corruption and dodgy deals. Not that China would be too different but servicing a smaller stockpile is going to make that much more bearable combined with supposed longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements of Yu Min configuration.

1000 warheads of multi megaton yield is probably what China should aim/keep it at. Delivery and survivability from first strike is more important than getting pure numbers at some point and considering how many warheads you'd like to throw at how many cities? I reckon 1000 given an assumed 50% gone from first strike and 25% lost from interception (reasonable assumption of interceptors), is a lower estimate of what is optimal. Keep it at about 5 warheads for the 25 or so cities that need to be targeted in case of being hit first... assuming another 50% of the surviving ones failing or being off somehow.

Lower stockpile if they're extra confident in delivery and accuracy. No reason really to doubt this unless there are many disruptive technology to counter this, being kept hidden even from intelligence agencies. I'm sure there are other backups. Ain't any reason to be friendly with those who are so damned desperate to destroy you.
 
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Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
From my reading, you could actually enrich reactor-grade plutonium to weapon-grade. You just need to have the isotope separation facility.
From pure theoretical standpoint it is possible, but in practice it is waaaaay more expensive than the uranium enrichment.

First, the U-238 and U-235 has three times bigger mass difference than the Pu-239 and Pu-240, second many plutonium isotope generating lot of heat, or radioactive.
 

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