Dong Feng-41(CSS-X-20)


China/U.S. Designation DongFeng-41 (DF-41)/CSS-X-20
Missile Variants N/A
Mobility and Role Road-mobile/Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Designer/Producer People’s Republic of China
Range 12,000-15,000km
Warhead Type and Weight Nuclear or Conventional/2,500kg
MIRV and Yield MIRV capable/1kt
Guidance System/Accuracy Inertial, GPS/100-500m CEP
Stages/Propellant Multistage/Solid
IOC/Retirement 2016/Still in service
Status/Number of Units Operational/ N/A


China is currently developing and testing the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is nearing operational status. The DF-41 has a range of 12,000-15,000 km [1] (able to target half to all of the continental U.S.), can carry multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and is rail-or road-mobile. The DF-41 is solid propelled and can carry a payload of up to 2500 kg. While the DF-41 is still in development, China has flight-tested it numerous times since July 2012, including a flight test in December 2014 with MIRVs and several launcher tests of the rail-mobile ICBM in December 2015. [2]

Strategic Implications

The DF-41 poses several security challenges for the United States given its range, launch method, and payload. The DF-41 is able to target much of the continental U.S. and can carry up to 10 MIRVs with nuclear warheads. China is developing the DF-41 as a rail-mobile system. Rail-mobile systems make it harder for intelligence agencies to track the missiles movements as the trains may be disguised as passenger trains and can travel at high speeds. Rail-mobile platforms can also use tunnels for protection from satellites and as secure storage and loading facilities for the missiles, making it difficult to verify the number of rail-mobile systems and the number of missiles.




Missile Threat and Proliferation