Facts

China/U.S. Designation Dong Feng-26 (DF-26)
Missile Variants N/A
Mobility and Role Road-mobile/surface-to-surface/ Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile
Designer/Producer People’s Republic of China
Range 3,000-4,000km
Warhead Type and Weight Nuclear or Conventional/1,800kg
MIRV and Yield No MIRV capability/5-10kt
Guidance System/Accuracy Inertial/100m CEP
Stages/Propellant Multistage/Solid
IOC/Retirement 2015/Still in Service
Status/Number of Units Operational/ N/A

Development

The DF-26 is a solid-fueled intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of 3,000-4,000km. [1] It is road-mobile, consists of two stages, and is designed for surface-to-surface operations. However, the missile reportedly has capabilities as an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) as well, targeting medium and large surface ships including aircraft carriers. China officially unveiled the DF-26 in 2015 during its V-Day parade, but it is not known if the system is currently deployed.

Strategic Implications

The DF-26 is the first conventionally-armed IRBM capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam which houses Anderson AFB. Indeed, U.S. analysts have dubbed the missile the “Guam-Killer.” This capability could prove critical in a regional conflict because China could effectively strike the U.S. base with conventional warheads, without escalating to the use of nuclear weapons. The ASBM capabilities of the DF-26 would also put U.S. aircraft carriers in the region at risk.


References

[1] Fisher Jr, Richard D. “DF-26 IRBM may have ASM variant, China reveals at 3 September parade.” IHS Jane’s 360. September 2, 2015. http://www.janes.com/article/53994/df-26-irbm-may-have-asm-variant-china-reveals-at-3-september-parade.

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