DF-16 / CSS-11
China has deployed a very large force of modern solid-propellant SRBMs in the vicinity of Taiwan, and according to Taiwanese government officials, China started to deploy a new SRBM known as the Dong Feng 16 (DF-16/CSS-11 Mod 1). Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General, Tsai Der-sheng, announced on 16 March 2013 that China had begun deploying a new pattern of ballistic missiles against Taiwan. The announcement came during a question-and-answer session following a presentation on the country’s intelligence affairs and his bureau’s operations before the Foreign and National Defense Committee of the Legislative Yuan.
His comments come amid reports that Beijing has moved the ballistic missiles to the mainland's southeastern coast, a move that could pose a serious threat to Taiwan. “The latest intelligence shows that the deployment change was only temporary and made for purposes of training,” Tsai Der-sheng said. There are no indications that the deployment change would be permanent, he noted. According to the Kuomintang's (KMT) Lin Yu-fang, the DF-16 was originally deployed at the Second Artillery's 52nd Base in Anhui province in central China. But recent Chinese media reports revealed that the missiles were being moved to coastal areas, the KMT lawmaker said.
The designation given for the missile was Dong Feng 16 (DF-16) and described this as “a new addition to the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] arsenal.” Tsai Der-sheng said that it posed a greater threat to Taiwan “given its extended range and more powerful payload.” Some DF-16 missiles were being deployed to replace older systems, he said, but others were being added to the number of ballistic missiles arrayed against Taiwan.
Tsai gave few details of the DF-16, whose existence had not previously been reported. He confirmed that this was a new missile and not an upgraded model of the earlier DF-15 (CSS-6). According to reports in the local press, he said that the DF-16 had a range of between 800 km and 1,000 km but declined to say whether it used multiple-warhead technology. Russia military-industrial complex website reported 09 April 2013, China's new missile photos were posted on the Internet. The missile launcher 5x5-wheel chassis, dimension, which is probably the experts have speculated China's new generation of medium-range ballistic missiles – DF-16.
DF-16 missiles, first unveiled to the public in late 2015, were tested in the deep forest during missile-launch exercises in recent weeks, according to video footage of the war games published in February 2017 by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. The DF-16 missile touts a level of accuracy comparable to a cruise missile, Shi Hong, executive editor of Shipborne Weapons, told China Daily. To quantify this precision, the missiles can travel some 625 miles, carry up to three nuclear warheads at a combined weight of one ton, and strike within five feet of a programmed target. Beijing’s PLA Rocket Force could launch the DF-16 missiles from anywhere on the Chinese mainland.
The DF-16's range puts it in striking distance of the US military base on Okinawa, as well as the Japanese islands, Taiwan, and the Philippines, The Japan Times reports. The latest medium-range ballistic missiles developed by China work via two phases that allow the missiles to alter trajectory mid-flight, the news outlet added. This feature of the DF-16 makes it possible to maneuver around Taiwan’s missile defense systems, The Japan Times noted.
As part of the weapons modernization program to strengthen its combat power, China has also been deploying Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) ballistic missiles capable of launching precise attacks on Taiwan proper, Taiwan Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said 20 March 2017. In a report in 2016, the U.S. Pentagon said that the DF-16, with a range of 800-1,000 km, coupled with the already deployed conventional land-attack and anti-ship variants of the CSS-5 (DF-21C/D) medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), would improve China's ability to strike not only Taiwan, but other regional targets.
The DF-16 represents an increased threat to Taiwan because it is difficult to intercept with anti-ballistic missiles systems such as the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3, according to U.S. media reports. By March 2017 at least 12-16 DF-16 missiles are in service and judging from the fact that they are deployed in southern China's Guangdong Province, they are likely targeted at Taiwan.
Feng said Taiwan has advanced surveillance systems that can detect any unusual movements by Chinese forces around the island and has weapons capable of fending off any DF-16 missile attacks from outside its borders with the U.S.-made PAC-3 system.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|