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In the parade for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the strategic missile with the Rocket Army as its core was undoubtedly the focus of attention from the outside world, and the Dongfeng-41 intercontinental missile that appeared last was undoubtedly the most powerful of the weapons in the official definition . For many military fans, this is the first public appearance of this legendary advanced weapon for many years.

Dongfeng-41 Strategic Missile

Although everyone has seen Dongfeng-41 launch vehicles on various channels, when the truth is clear, you can realize the tremendous pressure of strategic nuclear missiles.

Another symbolic story is relatively unknown: the first solid-surface-to-surface ballistic missile model developed in China in 1965 was initially designated Dongfeng-41. Although this is only a single-stage solid rocket engine, an artillery rocket with a range of only tens of kilometers, it has only existed in history for about two years (the Dongfeng-61 model name was used half of the time, as for The reason is the same as the red flag -61 missile renamed from the red flag -41), and has nothing to do with the current Dongfeng -41.


At that time, the Dongfeng-41 was a small missile with a range of tens of kilometers and a 700 mm rocket engine. It might be a low-end frog-7 rocket.

As the earliest batch of strategic missiles that began to be brewed in the late 1970s, it is also the most technically difficult one. Dongfeng-41 experienced the most ups and downs during the development, and was unfortunately dismounted from Dongfeng-22 and Dongfeng- In contrast, although several solid-fueled ballistic missiles have undergone twists and turns, they have been formally installed in the end, which can indeed be regarded as a microcosm of China’s aerospace industry and even the entire military industry system for decades.

This great transformation of China’s ballistic missile technology originated in the last century, and Dongfeng-41 is considered to be a complete success

How do you describe the value of Dongfeng-41 for China’s strategic nuclear forces? According to our understanding, Dongfeng-41 has given China a public perception that China already has it, but in fact China has not had the ability to counter large-scale real-time strategic nuclear counterattacks on the United States for a long time. This ability is now light and lightweight. For China, the word “for the United States” alone has cost Chinese researchers for almost 20 years. From Dongfeng-1, which was first fired in 1960 to Dongfeng-5, which was fully tested in 1980, although it was originally aimed at Moscow, the masters of the first two decades of the development of China’s ballistic missiles have only partially realized ” To the United States. ”


DongFeng-5  Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

The earliest Dongfeng-5 could not reach “cover the United States”, it could only be “hit the United States”

The Dongfeng 5 or DF-5 is a two stage Chinese ICBM. It has a length of 32.6 m and a diameter of 3.35 m. It weighs in at 183,000 kilograms and it has an estimated range of 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers. The DF-5 had its first flight in 1971 and was in operational service 10 years later. One of the limitations of the missile is that it takes between 30 and 60 minutes to fuel. The DF-5 is due to be replaced by the solid-fuelled DF-41. Around 2015, the newest variant DF-5B force are believed to have received a MIRV upgrade; according to Business Insider, with DF-5B: “China has the ability to deliver nuclear warheads nearly anywhere on earth (outside of South America, at least)

Throughout the 1980s, China ’s greatest achievement in the field of ballistic missile technology was to allow Western countries to truly recognize that their countries have intercontinental missile strike capabilities. Of course, because the country ’s focus has shifted to economic construction, the deployment speed of Dongfeng-5 is not Too fast, according to Western observation records, the Dongfeng-5 deployed by China began to grow slowly in single digits in the mid-1980s, exceeded a single digit in the late 1980s, and only reached the following decades in the 1990s.


The standard number of “20-25 pieces”, after that, although the Dongfeng-5 family has subsequently developed the DF-5A, DF-5B and other models with more advanced performance and technically also pioneering Chinese ballistic missiles, Increased range and multi-warhead capability, allowing China to upgrade its nuclear power to a “large-scale nuclear counterattack against the United States”, but everyone knows that it wants to upgrade China’s strategic land-based nuclear power technology At the U.S. and Russian level, a new generation of solid strategic missiles will be needed.

The strength of Dongfeng-5B also explains to a certain extent who the core of China’s strategic system was before Dongfeng-41.

This is the development plan of the Dongfeng-31, Julang-2 and Dongfeng-41 ballistic missiles that were formally planned in the 1970s. According to the plan, Dongfeng-31 land-based long-range ballistic missile was first researched and developed, and then the Julang-2 submarine-launched long-range ballistic missile and Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missile were developed based on it. However, because the difficulties encountered in the development of Dongfeng-31 exceeded the original imagination, the development progress was slower than expected, and even the development of the Julang-2 and Dongfeng-41 was affected, until the 2nd decade in 21 century, when these two weapons are deployed.


Julang-2 submarine-launched long-range ballistic missile

When we finally saw the Julang-2, his land brother Dongfeng-31 was “different”.

The earlier “sound of the wind” of Dongfeng-41, like most of China’s advanced weapons at the turn of the century, was obtained from various news columns like “Talking About China Overseas”, after all, it is stricter than confidentiality. The development of nuclear missiles and the news that China has obtained Belarus’ multi-axis heavy missile transport-erection-launcher products and technologies are more likely to be noticed by the outside world.

Of course, as a large country, China will certainly not be satisfied with buying several launch vehicles in the special vehicle field. So now we can see that heavy special vehicles take root in China, and we can also see that the new rocket missiles are used On the advanced special vehicle chassis. The huge projectile of Dongfeng-41 also makes the split-axle multi-axle special car the best feature to identify it.

Development of Chinese missiles

At that time, the outside world speculated on the development of Chinese missiles from such clues.

Whether Dongfeng-31AG or Dongfeng-41 has the so-called sprint launch capability, the nuclear counterattack speed is significantly faster, and Dongfeng-41 can carry multiple warheads, and the nuclear counterattack effect is naturally better. According to this battle of the National Day military parade, even if only 16 Dongfeng-41, 16 Dongfeng-31AG, 16 Julang-2 and 4 Dongfeng-5B are counted, the number of nuclear warheads they carry has far exceeded that of the West.

The speculation of nuclear strike capability, coupled with the air-launched strategic nuclear missiles carried by the H-6N, although the Trinity strategic nuclear deterrence cannot temporarily match the United States and Russia, it has clearly surpassed Britain and France in essence and ranks among the five nuclear powers. Of the top three.

Dongfeng-41 has been waiting too long since it was first sighted to be deployed.

As the truth of Dongfeng-41 becomes clear, another thing that is essential for China’s strategic nuclear forces is naturally the old-fashioned nuclear strategy issue. Traditionally, due to the limited number of nuclear warheads in our country and the limitation of the number of vehicles capable of conducting nuclear strikes against the United States, in addition to our commitment not to use nuclear weapons first, our country has always adopted a vague attitude and speculated outside the world.

China’s nuclear strategy is to use large numbers of warheads and vehicles to carry out large-scale retaliation against populated areas such as large cities in hostile countries. With the entry of the Dongfeng-31 series of missiles, China gradually has the ability to conduct relatively accurate nuclear strikes, but only after the Dongfeng-41 entered service, can China ’s strategic nuclear strike capabilities really improve a grade. On this basis, only by rethinking and adjusting the nuclear strategy can we have more confidence and foundation.

Nuclear strategy is certainly not easy to adjust, after all, it is very extensive

Of course, nuclear strategy is a huge and complex topic. The scope and depth of nuclear strategy makes it impossible to say a sentence or two, but it is possible to slowly chat with big guys at the appropriate time.