Graphic shows specifications of the Dongfeng-41 and the reach of China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.


China to show off most powerful nuclear missile

By Jordi Bou

October 1, 2019 - Dongfeng-41, China’s newest and longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), is likely to be the centrepiece of its parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

No details of the DF-41 have been released, but the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington says it may be able to reach the United States in 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets – a technology known as MIRV, or multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

Based on available information, the DF-41 missile’s overall capability is similar to that of the United States’ LGM-30G Minuteman III and Russia’s RT-2PM2 Topol-M.

China has had a nuclear missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. since the 1980s, but the lack of mobility of the Dongfeng-5 and insufficient payload of the Dongfeng 31-A have limited its effectiveness.

China is believed to have about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6,450 for the United States and 6,850 for Russia, according to SIPRI. Beijing officials have said they wanted a “minimum credible nuclear deterrent” but wouldn’t be the first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

PUBLISHED: 30/09/2019; STORY: Graphic News