Why Dongfeng-41 ICBM is the mainstay of China's strategic nuclear strength
On its National Day on October 1, China displayed its military might showcasing the latest missiles and hardware as the world watched. All eyes were on the Dongfeng missile known as the "East Wind".
China displays DF-41 ICBM
On its National Day on October 1, China displayed its military might showcasing the latest missiles and hardware as the world watched. It was an unabashed show of firepower in front of an adoring public draped in nationalism.
All eyes were on the Dongfeng-41 missile known as the "East Wind" which reportedly possesses the capability to hit the United States.
The display of the intercontinental ballistic missile DF-41, which can possibly carry up to 10 nuclear warheads was the centrepiece of the military carnival unveiled at Tiananmen Square on October 1.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the Dongfeng-41 missiles are "the mainstay of China's strategic nuclear strength".
China showcases latest Dongfeng missiles at National Day Parade
Among other state of the art weapons on display was a ballistic missile JL-2, which can be fired from a submarine and is equipped with a nuclear charge. It's supposed the range of 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) would allow it to reach Alaska and parts of the western United States, according to military information company Jane's.
A new cruise missile, DF-100, was also on view with the capability to travel beyond the speed of sound and be able to neutralise aircraft carriers.
Also on display was DF-17 missile. It is reportedly capable of releasing a "hypersonic glider" from the edge of space, with a tough-to-predict trajectory.
China also showed off its WZ-8 drone, a supersonic reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle that could potentially be deployed by aircraft. 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, Xinhua said.
China also unveiled its new Dongfeng-17 conventional missiles for the first time in the National Day military parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The missile has the capability of precision strikes against short-and medium-range targets, with strong penetration capacity in all-weather conditions, Chinese news agency Xinhua said.
The formation is comprised of two conventional missile brigades from a base of the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force, Xinhua news agency reported.
Dongfeng-41 steals the show on National Day
It was, however, the Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which stole the show on National Day.
It reportedly has the world's longest missile range of 12,000 km to 15,000 km. There were reports of DF-41 being in testing stage since 2013. On October 1, China officially displayed the missile in a high profile military parade.
Apart from version 41, China also displayed the Dongfeng 31 with a range of 11,200 kilometres putting continental US within range.
Xinhua news agency said Dongfeng-41 missiles, the mainstay of China's strategic nuclear strength, plays a vital role in strategic counterbalance, deterrent control and in "winning decisive victory".
US cold war with China over South China Sea, Taiwan
The unveiling of the Dongfeng series comes at a time when the US and China are locked in a "cold" battle over the South China Sea area with the US military often invoking the right of "freedom of navigation".
There is also lingering tensions over Taiwan with US warships often sailing across the Taiwan Strait in open defiance of China which considers the island nation as a renegade province.
Dongfeng Motor Corporation
Interestingly, the Dongfeng missiles are produced by China's state-owned automobile manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
The Wuhan-based carmaker is one of China's big auto companies which specialises in technological innovation.
Recently, it partnered with Tencent and China Mobile to bring internet services in cars for the coming 5G generation.
China prepares to showcase new weapons at military parade
A military vehicle passes along a street in central Beijing for the rehearsal of the military parade on October 1 to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing.
Dress rehearsal for grand military parade
A military vehicle travels along a road as streets in central Beijing remain closed for the rehearsal of the military parade on October 1 to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.