Development of the M-series of ballistic missiles reportedly began in 1984, to be built for the export market. The four missiles in this family, known in China as M-7, M-9, M-11 and M-18, all have conventional HE warheads. The M-series missiles all use solid fuel, and operational preparation time is short. They are all transported by highly-mobile cross- country trucks which have the capacity to launch the missiles.
The M-18 was originally shown at the 1987 [1988?] Beijing air show as a two-stage missile with 1,000 km range carrying a 400-500 kilogram payload. This M-18 missile had the longest range of any of the current M-series missiles. The M-18 is a larger two-stage version of the M-9 missile [the missile also designated as the DF-15 in China and CSS-6 by the US].
The M-18 design was displayed in Iran in 1991, but apparently work on M-18 design was not continued in China. According to some reports the four missiles launched by the Second Artillery Corps on 13 March 1996 were not of the M-9 type, as widely reported, but actually missiles of the M-18 type launched from "No. 2054" base in Hunan Province. Again in April 1997 it was reported that Iran was involved with both the Chinese M-18 missile program [known as the Tondar-68 in Iran] and DF-25, which China had abandoned in 1996.
|Contractor||Academy of Rocket Motors Technology - ARMT|
|Operator||Second Artillery Corps|
|Re-entry Vehicle Mass (kg)||400-500|
10 meters [crater]|
60 meters [unitary]
250 meters [submunition]
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