on the morning of June 12, State Councilor and defense minister weifenghe delivered a keynote speech at the Shangri La dialogue and introduced the development of China’s nuclear weapons in the question session. In response to the question raised by the reporter about the extent to which China’s nuclear weapons have now developed, weifenghe said that the new weapons and equipment displayed in the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s Republic of China have been equipped with troops. Obviously, Wei Feng and the minister did not clearly explain the current status of China’s nuclear power, but the new weapons and equipment displayed in the military parade on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, especially the”log car” appearing at the end of the rocket army, greatly shook the Western world.
as a big country with a history of more than 50 years of nuclear weapons, what is China’s current nuclear power? Now the author will make a brief introduction according to the public information.
when it comes to nuclear weapons, many people naturally think of atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs. However, a simple nuclear warhead is not a nuclear weapon in the full sense. A nuclear weapon can be called a nuclear weapon only if it is installed on a specific platform (bomber, ballistic missile, cruise missile, etc.) and has the ability to throw it on enemy territory. It can be said that nuclear warheads and throwing platforms are also indispensable. So today we will introduce the current situation of China’s nuclear weapons from the two dimensions of nuclear warheads and launch platforms.
the number of nuclear warheads is top secret, and it is safe to use them.
the number of nuclear warheads has always been China’s top secret. All external news about the number of nuclear warheads in China is based on speculation.
according to the number of nuclear warheads of 9 nuclear countries in the world previously announced by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute of Sweden, the total number of Russian nuclear warheads is 6500, the U.S. nuclear warhead stock is 6185, the number of French nuclear warheads is the third, about 300, and the total number of British nuclear warheads is about 200. India has 150-160 nuclear warheads in total, followed by Pakistan, with about 130-140 nuclear warheads. China has 290 nuclear warheads, slightly less than France, ranking fourth in the world.
compared with the huge nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia, the number of nuclear warheads in China is insignificant. However, even if the 300 nuclear warheads speculated by the outside world are true, this number can make other nuclear weapon states dare not use nuclear weapons against China. China has always pursued a minimum nuclear deterrence strategy, but this does not mean that China’s nuclear weapons have no deterrence capability. China’s strong nuclear counterattack capability is beyond the reach of any country.
from the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s Republic of China, China exhibited 16 df-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 16 df-31ag intercontinental ballistic missiles, 4 df-5b intercontinental ballistic missiles and 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles. If calculated according to the maximum nuclear warhead load of various intercontinental missiles, the 48 intercontinental ballistic missiles exhibited need to consume more than 300 nuclear warheads, and the information behind this can be detailed.
Introduction to nuclear weapon vehicles, China’s Trinity nuclear strike capability has been formed
as we have mentioned above, nuclear warheads need a good delivery platform to play their due deterrent capacity. Only when they hit the other side’s door can they really play their role. At present, the construction of China’s nuclear strike capability has achieved initial results, and China has become the third country in the world with Trinity nuclear strike capability after the United States and Russia.
introduction to land-based nuclear counterattack capability
in the field of land-based nuclear missiles, China currently has four types of ballistic missiles: dongfeng-41, dongfeng-5b, dongfeng-31ag and dongfeng-26, making it the country with the largest number of land-based nuclear missiles in the world. The author will briefly introduce the performance of the above four missiles.
the df-41 intercontinental ballistic missile is an important support for China’s strategic nuclear force. The missile is 16.5 meters long, 2.78 meters in diameter, 64 tons in weight, with a maximum range of 14000 kilometers. It can carry up to 10 sub missile nuclear warheads. The error of the strike circle probability is within 100 meters. One df-41 missile can destroy 10 small and medium-sized enemy cities. Compared with the Russian vehicle mounted”yars” intercontinental ballistic missile, the df-41 missile has greater advantages in range, throwing load, strike accuracy and mobility. It can be said that the df-41 missile is the strongest road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile in the world.
the df-5b ballistic missile weapon has many warheads, strong penetration ability and great damage power. It is a strong shield to safeguard national sovereignty and national dignity. According to the public data, the dongfeng-5b missile is nearly 40 meters long, 3.5 meters in diameter, and nearly 200 tons in launching weight. It is launched from a fixed silo with a payload of 4-5 tons. It can still maintain a maximum range of 15000 kilometers when carrying 6-10 nuclear warheads, and can cover the entire territory of the United States. In terms of comprehensive performance, dongfeng-5b missile is second only to Russia’s latest”salmat” heavy intercontinental missile, and its damage ability exceeds that of the US”Minuteman” -3 intercontinental missile.
the dongfeng-31ag nuclear missile is the latest improved version of China’s dongfeng-31a nuclear missile. It adopts the separated warhead technology, with a maximum range of 13000 km. It can carry 3~5 nuclear warheads or a million ton hydrogen warhead. It can effectively cover most of the territory of the United States and is an important part of China’s strategic nuclear strike force.
the df-26 missile is a medium range ballistic missile with both nuclear and conventional functions. It is about 14 meters long, 1.4 meters in diameter, and 20 tons in launching weight. It uses a two-stage solid fuel rocket motor. It can carry nuclear warheads or conventional warheads weighing 1.2 to 1.8 tons. It also has the ability to deliver three separate multiple warheads, with a maximum range of more than 4000 kilometers, and can cover the main military bases of the United States in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the df-26 missile can also strike sea targets accurately, which is an important part of China’s anti aircraft carrier combat system.
introduction to sea based nuclear strike capability
China is the last country among the five permanent member states to master the underwater launch vehicle technology, and the sea based nuclear counterattack capability has always been China’s weak point. Until the emergence of 094 strategic nuclear submarine and julang-2 submarine launched missile, China can be regarded as having a real sea based nuclear strike capability.
as China’s second-generation strategic nuclear submarine, the comprehensive technical level of 094 nuclear submarine is only equivalent to that of western countries in the 1970s and 1980s. The tonnage, depth of submergence, bomb carrying capacity and mute level are far behind those of the strategic nuclear submarines currently equipped in the United States, Russia, Britain and France.
the JL-2 submarine launched intercontinental missile is the main combat weapon of China’s 094 strategic nuclear submarine. Its basic model has a maximum range of 8000 km and can carry three 40000-60000 ton nuclear warheads or one 300000 ton thermonuclear warhead. The range of the improved jl-2a and jl-2b missiles has been increased to 10000 km and 12000 km respectively, which makes the 094 nuclear submarine capable of attacking the US mainland in China’s coastal waters.
China’s third-generation sea based nuclear counterattack system consists of 096 strategic nuclear submarine and julang-3 submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missile. At present, these two types of equipment are in the final stage of research and development, which will greatly narrow the gap between China’s sea based nuclear power and the United States, Russia and other countries.
air based nuclear strike capability
like the sea based nuclear counterattack capability, China’s space-based nuclear strike capability is also seriously behind the United States and Russia. At present, both the United States and Russia are equipped with a large number of strategic bombers, which can carry out conventional strike and nuclear strike missions across continents. At present, the only combat platform with air nuclear strike capability in China is the improved H-6 bomber, which has the ability to carry 6 kd-20 cruise missiles and can attack ground and sea targets 5000 kilometers away. The kd-20 cruise missile is an air launched model of China’s dongfeng-10 cruise missile, with a maximum range of more than 2000 km. In addition to carrying conventional warheads, it also has the ability to carry a single nuclear warhead, making the H-6 bomber capable of nuclear attack outside the defense zone.
in addition to carrying subsonic cruise missiles, the improved h-6n Bomber can also carry a hypersonic ballistic missile. This ballistic missile can also carry a nuclear warhead and attack enemy targets at Mach 10. Its comprehensive performance is far better than that of the Russian”dagger” missile. On the whole, although the H-6 bomber platform is relatively old, it still has strong nuclear strike potential.
if we have to make a ranking, China’s land-based nuclear strike capability is equal to that of Russia, ahead of the United States; Sea based nuclear power is the last among the P5 countries, not as good as France and Britain; Space based nuclear power ranks third, and there is a large gap with the United States and Russia. On the whole, although China’s nuclear power is far less than that of the United States and Russia, its current size is enough to save the Chinese people from the catastrophe of nuclear war. No country dare to test China’s nuclear strike capability easily.
finally, the author would like to point out that the weapon systems publicly displayed by China at any time will not be the most advanced, and the Dongfeng and JuLang missiles displayed on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s Republic of China can only represent China’s technical level at least seven or eight years ago. China’s most advanced nuclear weapons may be made public as early as 2029 at the military parade. At that time, China will have more advanced nuclear weapons technology.
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