China Rapidly Develops DF-41 Missile

January 26, 2015

Want China Times:

China only spent five years developing its DF-41 solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, which has a long enough range to strike the continental United States, according to Military Parade, a Moscow-based Russian-language website covering defense issues, on Jan. 15.

The country reportedly spent just US$1.1 billion to design the DF-41, which can carry multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, according to Sergei Tikhonov, a Russian expert on China’s military development. The rate of growth in China’s military budget ranks number two in the world after Russia and has been so for the last five years. Tikhonov said that the Chinese leadership had invested their resources wisely in the development of the missile.

In 2009, China began a missile program called Project 41H with the participation of 156 institutes. After five years of research and development, China successfully tested the DF-41 in 2014. With a speed of Mach six and a range of 15,000 kilometers, the DF-41 can be used to attack the US homeland with multiple nuclear warheads, Tikhonov said.

The United States spent about 12 years and US$16 billion to develop its UGM-133 Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile with similar capabilities to the DF-41, according to Tikhnov. China devoted most of its resources and budget to the design of strategical and tactical missile systems because it is still unable to build conventional weapons with similar quality to those of the United States.

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