The following is based on a translation of a report on a Chinese news site:
China’s Huanqiu.com website carries a report on an article on the website of Britain’s Jane’s Defence Review published on September 9 on China’s new weapons systems titled “China showcases new weapon systems at 3 September parade”
Jane’s describes almost all the new weapons showcased for the first time in the military parade, but huanqiu.com only carries the following translation of Jane’s descriptions of seven of those weapons, which perhaps it regards as the most important ones among the weapons described in Jane’s article.
1. DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile
While its development likely dates to the early 1990s, according to the Pentagon, the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation‘s (CASIC’s) Dong Feng DF-21D started deployment in 2014. It is the world’s first deployed anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), using a manoeuvrable warhead, likely with multiple sensors, to enable attacks against moving ships at sea. It is expected that the PLA wills seek to co-ordinate DF-21D strikes with air- and submarine-launched anti-ship missiles to overwhelm target defences.
2. DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile
Likely deployed to the Second Artillery Corp units starting in early 2011, the CASIC DF-16 800 to 1,000 km medium-range ballistic missile made its first parade appearance. It uses the warhead stage of the DF-11A short-range ballistic missile with a larger-boost engine to achieve longer range and higher speeds to evade new US missile defences acquired by Taiwan. This missile may also be able to attack Japanese and US forces on Okinawa. The DF-16 also employs laser countermeasures on its TEL cabin roof.
3. DF-26 intermediate/long-range ballistic missile
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) 3,000 to 4,000 km-range DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile also made its first parade appearance. Its announced anti-ship capability has been covered by Jane’s Defence Review.
4. DF-5B ICBM
Making its first parade appearance, Asian military sources have mentioned the multiple-warhead-armed CASC DF-5B 15,000-km-range, liquid-fuelled ICBM since 2008. However, the Pentagon did not acknowledge this silo-launched ICBM until the publication of its 2015 annual China report. Its appearance in the parade revealed the DF-5B uses the same missile shroud technology as CASC’s Long March-2C space launch vehicle. While reported to carry only three warheads, it appears that the DF-5B is large enough to carry many more.
5. T-99A main battle tank
The third generation of Norinco’s T-99 main battle tank family revealed in 1999, the T-99A, was first revealed by Chinese sources in early 2011. Also called the T-99A2, it was featured prominently in the September 2014 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ‘Peace Mission’ exercises. Its distinctive feature is a sharp, wedge-shaped turret that makes extensive use of second-generation composite and reactive armour plus the use of a second-generation laser countermeasures system. Weighing about 50 tons, it is armed with a 125 mm, auto-stabilised, auto-loading main gun that Chinese media revealed may be capable of firing 8 rounds a minute and is armed with gun-launched anti-tank missiles. Featuring new digital communications, one of the tank’s designers has stated that the T-99A has not reached desired reliability levels (huanqiu.com’s report omitted the final sentence).
6. AFT-10 anti-tank missile (Hongjian-10)
Also making its first official appearance was the ATF-10 fibre-optic-guided, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) anti-tank missile. Eight are carried by a modified ZBD-04A APC. The PLA’s interest in NLOS anti-tank missiles became apparent in 2011, and the ATF-10 featured prominently in the 2014 ‘Peace Mission’ exercises. The missile reportedly has a range of about 10 km.
7. YJ-12 anti-ship missile
Also making its first parade appearance was the Hongdu Aviation Industries Corporation’s YJ-12 ramjet-powered, supersonic air-launched anti-ship missile. It is a development of the ramjet-powered YJ-91, influenced by the Russian Zvezda Kh-31 purchased by the PLA. The speed of the YJ-12 is estimated at between Mach 2.5 and Mach 4, with a range of up to 400 km. Two are carried by XAC H-6G bombers in PLA Naval Air Force (PLANAF) service. Up to six can be carried by the new H-6K bomber, and a regiment of these could launch more than 100 for saturation attacks.
It is no secret that China has made large investment in attack weapon systems for several years – the Pentagon has said in quite a few reports that China has developed a series of ballistic and cruise missiles that have made it complicated for the US to take measures to deal with if there is a crisis near the Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku in Japan). This gives China the advantage in such a conflict.
Source: huanqiu.com “Jane’s counts China’s new weapons shown in September 3 military parade: Missiles that deal with U.S. interference over the Diaoyus” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Full text of Jane’s report can be viewed at http://www.janes.com/article/54029/china-showcases-new-weapon-systems-at-3-september-parade
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Categories: Defence & Aerospace