The Dongfeng-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile at a military parade in Beijing on Tuesday.
Bill Bostock Oct 1, 2019, 8:30 AM
• China used a huge military parade on Tuesday to show off a new intercontinental missile designed to bypass the US missile-defense system.
• The Dongfeng-41 passed through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as part of a parade marking 70 years of Chinese Communist Party rule.
• Chinese authorities say each missile can carry 10 nuclear warheads. Defense analysts believe the missile has a range of 9,320 miles and could travel at 25 times the speed of sound.
• The Dongfeng-41 is also designed to bypass barriers like the US’s Ballistic Missile Defense System by firing decoy missiles.
China used its 70th-anniversary national parade on Tuesday to unveil a supersonic, nuclear-capable missile designed to test the US’s missile-defense system.
The People’s Liberation Army showed off at least 16 Dongfeng-41 missiles and transports as part of the parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The Dongfeng-41 is believed to be the world’s longest-ranged intercontinental weapon and capable of striking targets 9,320 miles away, the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank said, according to The Associated Press.
Defense analysts told the AP they believed the missile could travel at 25 times the speed of sound and could reach the US in 30 minutes. Neither US nor Chinese official figures are available.
The three-stage solid-fuel missile can carry a payload of 10 warheads, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser with China’s Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper in August.
The Dongfeng-41 could pose a legitimate threat to the US’s missile-defense system. This is because the Dongfeng, which means “east wind” in Chinese, carries decoy missiles to deceive such systems into targeting them instead of the actual warheads, the Financial Times reported.
This feature was designed to bypass defense systems like the US’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, the nation’s primary defense against long-range attacks.
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Yue Gang, a retired People’s Liberation Army colonel, told the Financial Times: “We want to use this big killer to contain America.
“Although we have no way to compete with you, we are now developing some unique equipment so that America does not dare to go first against us.”
China’s Xinhua state news agency has also called the missile “the country’s most advanced and powerful deterrent.”
Tuesday’s massive military parade involved 15,000 troops, 580 pieces of military equipment, and more than 160 fighter aircraft, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported, citing a Ministry of Defense spokesman, Maj. Gen. Cai Zhijun.
Chinese authorities ordered residents to vacate their apartments and banned flying kites, lanterns, and homing pigeons to make way for the parade, The New York Times reported.