CHINA has unveiled its “ultimate doomsday weapon” during one of the nation’s biggest military parades.
The terrifying super-nuke took centre stage at a huge arms showcase held in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, to mark 70 years of Communist rule, RapidGist Reports
The Dongfeng-41 is a 7,672 mph intercontinental ballistic missile that is said to have the furthest range of any nuclear missile and could reach the US in 30 minutes.
China’s Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in power with a military parade that showcased the DF-41, alongside the country’s most advanced weapons.
Soldiers in helmets and combat gear shouted, “hello, leader!” and “serve the people” as a formation of fighter jets trailing coloured smoke swooped low over the capital.
Speculation was rife as to what weapons would be unveiled, with parade rehearsals showing missiles and aircraft under camouflage wraps.
One of the most closely-watched weapons unveiled on Tuesday was the Dongfeng-17, a nuclear-capable glider that foreign analysts say is designed to manoeuvre at high speed to evade anti-missile defences.
The Chinese government is keen to assert its dominance in Asia and particularly in the South China Sea where it has been busy building militarised islands in international waters.
And its clear message to the US is that it is getting closer than ever to matching it in terms of military might.
No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.
President Xi Jinping
A defence ministry spokesman recently said Beijing had no intention to “flex its muscles” but was instead keen to show a “peace-loving and responsible China”.
But, President Xi Jinping warned at the event: “No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.”
The major ceremony was held to mark the day that Mao Zedong pronounced the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 from the imposing Tiananmen Gate.
What weapons were on show for the first time in China?
Trucks carrying weapons including a nuclear-capable missile designed to evade American defences rumbled through Beijing on October 1.
China’s Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in power with a military parade.
Showcasing its most advanced weapons, those revealed for the first time included hypersonic-glide missiles that experts say could be difficult for the US to counter.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s biggest military with two million men and women in uniform, will be able to access a dizzying array of new weapons, such as:
- The “carrier killer” Dongfeng-21D (DF-21D). Unveiled at a military parade in 2015, this is designed to hit warships at sea at a range of up to 1,500km.
- China also showed its DF-26intermediate range missile, dubbed “Guam killer” in reference to the US Pacific island base.
- One of the most closely-watched weapons unveiled was the Dongfeng-17, a nuclear-capable glider that foreign analysts say is designed to manoeuvre at high speed to evade anti-missile defences.
- The DF-17 hypersonic missile can theoretically manoeuvre sharply at many times the speed of sound, making it extremely difficult to counter.
- Nozomu Yoshitomi, a retired major general in Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force, said the DF-17 posed serious questions about the effectiveness of the regional missile defence system America and Japan are building.
- He said: “There is a possibility that if we do not acquire a more sophisticated ballistic missile defence system, it will become impossible for both the U S and Japan to respond.”
- Bringing up the rear of the ground parade were 16 upgraded launchers carrying DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles.
- These are the backbone of China’s nuclear deterrent, capable of reaching the US with multiple nuclear warheads.
- The Dongfeng-41 is believed to have a range of up to 15,000km (9,300 miles), which would make it world’s longest-range military missile.
- Analysts say it may be able to carry as many as 10 warheads to hit separate targets.
State media said 40% of the arms shown in the parade were appearing in public for the first time.
This hardware included new and revamped versions of missiles, such as the long-range submarine-launched and ship-based YJ-18A anti-ship cruise missiles.
China only displays systems it says have entered some form of service, though analysts believe some of the new equipment could be experimental or prototypes.
For example, the Gongji-11, described as an attack drone and the “final version” of the Sharp Sword drone that first flew in 2013, was displayed for the first time on the back of a truck.
China showed jets in aerial refuelling formation, and the Z-20 medium lift helicopter – similar to a US UH-60 Black Hawk – also made its public debut.
HUNDREDS OF NUKES
China has about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6,450 for America and 6,850 for Russia, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The military showed off China’s most advanced weapons, some being shown for the first time, as rows of soldiers marched in lockstep past President Xi Jinping and other leaders in Tiananmen Square, the country’s symbolic political heart.
Thousands of spectators waved Chinese flags and fighter jets flew low overhead.
The party’s emphasis on missiles and other long-range weapons reflects Beijing’s desire to displace the United States as the region’s dominant force and enforce claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other disputed territories.
The high-profile parade included 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment, according to Ministry of Defence spokesman Major General Cai Zhijun.
A supersonic drone, hypersonic missile and a robot submarine were also shown off.
But all eyes were primed for whether the huge Dongfeng 41 (DF-41) missile would roll through Tiananmen Square in its debut public appearance.
Many new weapons “will be shown for the first time,” Cai told reporters last week. Asked whether that would include the DF-41, Cai said, “Please wait and see.”
No details of the DF-41 have been released, but the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said it may have the world’s longest range at 15,000 kilometres.
US nuclear tipped missiles fall a few thousand kilometres short of that.
Analysts say the DF-41, flying at 25 times the speed of sound, might be able to reach the US in 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets.
China’s current mainstay missile the Dongfeng-31 — Dongfeng means “east wind” — has a range of more than 11,200 kilometres that puts most of the continental US within reach.