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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chinese Theater Missile Systems

From Japan’s perspective, the DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile and the DF-21D antiship ballistic missile could pose direct threats. China has enough of these projectiles to potentially overwhelm Japan’s missile defense system with so-called “saturation attacks.” As a result, in a military standoff between Japan and China, most US forces would probably clear out of Japan temporarily.

Chinese ballistic missiles may have as many as three different designations. Missiles in service in China would have a DF [Dong Feng = East Wind] designator, while there is a separate alpha-numeric designator for missiles destined for export. The US intelligence community also assigns a CSS [China Surface to Surface] designator.

According to the Chinse principle of naming weapons, the model name of the weapon is named according to the following rules: Weapon Type - Weapon Serial Number - Weapon Development Serial Number. Dongfeng-21D, the type of weapon: Dongfeng, for the Second Artillery Weapon System, generally referred to as the East, 21 is the 21st, usually the Second Artillery 2X default for the long-range missiles, 3X for the long-range or intercontinental missiles, 4X for intercontinental missile. The last letter D said the fourth development model, D-type, that is, Ding type.

China’s Rocket Force

System Launchers Missiles Estimated Range
ICBM 50-75 75-100 5,400-13,000+ km
IRBM 16-30 16-30 3,000+ km
MRBM 100-125 200-300 1,500+ km
SRBM 250-300 1,000-1,200 300-1,000 km
GLCM 40-55 200-300 1,500+ km
SOURCE : 2018 DIA "Annual Report to Congress:
Military and Security Developments Involving the
People’s Republic of China", pg 125
The U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) published “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat” in July 2013. This assessment is an update to the 2009 edition of the same name. The 2013 version disclosed the finding that five new short-range ballistic missiles, including the CSS-9, CSS-11, CSS-14, CSS-X-15, and CSS-X-16 are in development in China. The fact of the existence of a sixth new system, the DF-15 (CSS-6), had been disclosed a few months earlier in Taiwan. Duncan Lennox had earlier disclosed the fact of the existence of a CSS-11 [“B-611 (CSS-11)” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons) August 3, 2012], but this was evidently in confusion, as the rocket he discussed had a range of only 159 km, not the 850 km of the NASIC report.

PLA Rocket Force inventories are poorly constrained in the open source literature. The 2019 DIA "China Military Power" reported "The PLARF has about 1,200 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs).... China currently has 75 to 100 ICBMs..." The report discussed various medium and intermendiate range missile programs, but did not provide inventory estimates.


FuelRange [km] IOC
Short Range - up to 1000 km
1060SS-1B SCUD
DF-7M-7 / 8610CSS-8Solid/Liquid 150-180
DF-11, 11AM-11CSS-7 Mod 1Solid 3001995
CSS-7 Mod 2 Solid 600
DF-12M-20CSS-X-15 Solid 280-400
DF-15M-9 CSS-6 Mod 1 Solid6001995
CSS-6 Mod 2 Solid 850+
CSS-6 Mod 3 Solid 725+
DF-16CSS-11 Mod 1 Solid 800+
CSS-9 Mod 1 Solid 150
CSS-9 Mod-X-2 Solid 260
CSS-14 Mod-X-1 Solid 150
CSS-14 Mod-X-2 Solid 280
CSS-X-16 Solid 200
WM-80 80-120
B-611/P-12/BP-12CSS-11 150-250
SY-400/-400 mod 150-400
Wei Shi-2/-3 200
Medium Range - 1,000-3,000 km
CH-10DH-10 1,5002006
CJ-20 2,000201x ?
DF-100 1,5002019?
DF- 2 CSS-1 1,2501966
DF-21 CSS-5 Mod 1Solid1,750+ 1986
CSS-5 Mod 2 Solid 1,750+
DF-21C CSS-5 Con Solid 1,750+
DF-21DWU-14 CSS-5 ASBM Solid 1,500+
DF-25 1,700 cancelled
DF-61 1,000 cancelled
M-18 1,000
DF-ZFWU-14 CSS-5 ASBM Solid 1,500+
DF-17 DF-ZFHypersonic BGV Solid 2,500
Xingkong-2Starry Sky 2 Scramjet? ?,000
Intermediate Range - 3,000-4,800 km
DF-3A CSS-2 Liquid3,000 1971
DF-4 CSS-34,750 1980
DF-26Guam Express solid4,000 201?

Inventory - Missiles
01 Jan20002001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Short Range2252753504255006907501035110012001300
DF-11M-11 CSS-7 100125175200225440455695725800875
DF-15 M-9 CSS-6 125150175200225250295340375400425
Medium / Long Range108108100100100100100250350500600
DF- 3A CSS-2 40404040 40 161616202020
DF- 4 CSS-3 2020121212222218181818
DF-21 CSS-548484848482135457085100
Inventory - Launchers
Short Range ................213..
DF-11M-11 CSS-7 ................108..
DF-15 M-9 CSS-6 ................81..
DF-16 CSS-3 ................24..
Medium / Long Range................218..
DF- 3A ................-..
DF- 4 CSS-3 ................-..
DF-21 CSS-5................134..
DF-26 ................30..

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Page last modified: 24-04-2021 17:21:04 ZULU