Chinese MIRVed ICBM DF-41

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Chinese MIRVed ICBM DF-41

Author: S. Chandrashekar

df 41 cover imageOn 24 July 2012 China is reported to have tested its DF-41 long range ICBM. Some images of this missile, presumably taken by Chinese bystanders with cell phone cameras were put out on the Internet.

On balance it would appear that though the parameters of the presumed DF-41 are consistent with a long range MIRV ICBM the number of MIRV that could be carried on the DF-41 may be not more than three.

The information and the images put out also seem to suggest that the Chinese want the world to know what they possess. The data provided is such that with some knowledge, Chinese capabilities can be inferred.  These conclusions may be very similar for different groups looking at this issue across the world. In spite of this there is still sufficient ambiguity in the information being put out by them that precludes a complete assessment of the true capabilities of their newer missiles. This deliberate ambiguity seems to be a part of their grand strategy.

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