China Moves Intercontinental Missiles : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

China Moves Intercontinental Missiles 8:01 am PST, 7 May 2001

China has recently moved its 24 intercontinental ballistic missiles, U.S. intelligence officials have said after detecting the movements via spy satellite in early April.

China's 24 ICBMs form the crux of its nuclear weapons capability. U.S. reports in the mid-1990s said China was aiming most of its missiles at U.S. cities.

The CSS-4 missiles are located mostly in silos in central China, officials said, noting that it wasn't clear why Beijing ordered them moved.

The CSS-4s come in two configurations Mod I and Mod II versions. Both have ranges of 8,000 miles and contain a single, 5-megaton warhead the equivalent of 5 million tons of TNT.

However, Beijing is currently upgrading its nuclear-capable ICBM force. China is developing the DF-31 and DF-41 to replace the liquid-fueled CSS-4s. The new DF series missiles are road mobile, making them harder to locate and destroy, and are solid fueled, cutting their preparation time to about 30 minutes.

Liquid-fueled missiles require much longer times to set up and prepare to fire, giving an enemy like the U.S. with space-based surveillance capabilities time to target and destroy them before they are launched.

U.S. intelligence reports have said that China has produced a few new CSS-4s and is upgrading the infrastructure to make its ICBMs.

Also, China is developing a nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile capacity. Reports in April said the U.S. Navy EP-3 damaged in a midair collision by a Chinese fighter may have been monitoring China's newest ballistic missile submarines during sea trials.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 07, 2001


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WORLD NewsUSA NewsSCI-TECH NewsBUSINESS NewsENTERTAINMENT NewsPOLITICS NewsSPORTS News US Begins Spy Flights Near China 7:56 am PST, 7 May 2001

The U.S. has begun surveillance flights off the coast of China for the first time since an April 1 incident between a U.S. Navy EP-3 spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter.

Officials told Reuters wire service that an RC-135 surveillance plane a four-engine jet operated by the Air Force conducted a flight Monday local time off the Chinese coast. The jet flew out of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

Chinese officials had no comment on the resumption of U.S. flights, Reuters said, although Beijing has been insistent that the U.S. stop all such flights.

The flights have been resumed as U.S. and Chinese officials haggle over the fate of the Navy plane still sitting at an airbase on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, where it was forced to land after colliding in midair with a Chinese F-8 fighter last month.

The 24-member crew of the U.S. plane was held by Chinese authorities for 11 days. China has yet to release the plane.

U.S. officials said over the weekend that the plane, with some minor repairs, could be flown off the Hainan Island airbase. China has insisted that it be dismantled instead, and taken away by ship.

The Pentagon has said it wants the $80 million plane back. The Bush administration has said the plane must be returned before other diplomatic considerations with China can be considered.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 07, 2001.

China builds new missile platforms to deter US forces

LONG WALL: The People's Liberation Army is building ballistic missile launch sites so it can cover US military targets in the Pacific, one defense source claims

By Brian Hsu STAFF REPORTER China has built two fixed missile launch sites in its southeastern provinces and is planning to build more as part of a project to build a "wall" of longer-range missiles against the US, according to a defense source.

The fixed missile launch site construction project, named the "Long Wall Project," is aimed at the US, not Taiwan, the defense source said.

The two already completed sites are located in Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces and are capable of launching longer-range ballistic missiles such as the Dong Feng-31, which claims a range of 8,000km.

The launch site in Jiangxi is located in Leping, home to the 815th ballistic missile training brigade of the Chinese Second Artillery force. The other launch site, in Fujian, is not yet known.

The Chinese military plans to build more missile launch bases of this type in its southeastern regions so as to form a formidable "wall of missile bases" capable of launching long-range missiles such as the Dong Feng-31.

The Dong Feng-31 is a new missile developed by China in recent years. It has a submarine-launched variant -- the Ju Lang-II missile.

"The Long Wall Project is aimed at the US, not Taiwan. The Chinese military leadership plans to put longer-range ballistic missiles in the southeastern provinces so that they can cover US military targets in the Pacific," the defense source said.

"They can fire, for instance, a Dong Feng-31 at a US navy battle group shortly after the group leaves its base in Hawaii. The Long Wall Project is basically a deterrent against the US' fighting forces in the Pacific," the source said. "In addition to the Dong Feng- series missiles, China can also fire many other types of missiles from these two fixed launch sites."

In addition to the two fixed sites, the Chinese military has also built a number of mobile missile launch bases in its southeastern provinces.

Three of the mobile launch bases are located in Fujian Province and are obviously aimed at Taiwan, with short-range missiles such as the M-9 or M-11. They are based in Xienyu, Pingtan and Lienchen.

Among the two kinds of missiles targeting Taiwan, the M-11 is the more feared since it can fire a wide variety of warheads, ranging from nuclear and chemical warheads to electronic magnetic pulse (EMP) warheads, a defense official said. EMP warheads produce an electromagnetic shock wave and can damage electronic equipment, such as computers and radio or radar receivers.

"All of these warheads for the M-11 have one common feature -- they can decelerate while homing toward the target. This is an important feature because with its ability to slow its speed, the missile's warhead can explode at the most suitable altitude to effect the greatest destruction against ground targets," the official said.

Erich Shih (I޳), a senior editor with Defense International magazine, said that another reason to fear the M-11 is its growing accuracy.

"Because of the application of global positioning system technology to the missile, the [margin of error] for the M-11 can be reduced to around 5m," Shih said.


-- Martin Thompson (, May 07, 2001.

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