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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Da Qaidam - 412 Brigade
Ta-ch'ai-tan / Tsaidam
3750'N 9518'E

China established a nuclear missile deployment and launch site for DF-4 missiles (China's first ICBM) in the early 1970s to the west of Dhashu (Haiyan) in the Da Qaidam [Tsaidam] basin. The Larger Tsaidam (Da Qaidam) site has two missiles stored horizontally in tunnels near the launch pad. Fuel and oxidiser is stored in separate tunnels with lines to the launch pad. According to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Washington DC, nuclear missiles are stationed in Small Tsaidam and are only moved to Large Tsaidam in times of emergency. Da Qaidam is one of five location at which a total of between 10 and 20 DF-4s were deployed as of early 1998.

The facility is probably headquarters for one of the three launch brigades, each with up to three launch battalions, subordinated to the Second Artillery Corps 80306 Unit, a Division headquartered in Xining, Qinghai province. The 80306 Unit is able to target sites in the former Soviet Union and India, and indications exist that the 80306 Unit may upgrade to the DF-21. Da Qaidam [Large Tsaidam] has been identified as the location of this Brigade headquarters. The reported relationship between Da Qaidam and Xiao Qaidam, notably the disposition of nuclear warheads, might suggest that the Xiao Qaidam facility is the primary location for this unit. However, the apparent Chinese practice of locating headquarters units separately from operational weapons locations, as seen with Second Artillery Corps Division headquarters locations, would appear to confirm Da Qaidam as the probable location for the Brigade headquarters.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:37:33 ZULU