China unveiled Dongfeng-41 intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles, the country’s most advanced and powerful deterrent, in a National Day military parade in central Beijing Tuesday. A formation consisting of 16 new-type strategic nuclear missile launchers carrying Dongfeng-41 passed through Tian’anmen Square in the massive parade in celebration of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
Dongfeng-41 missiles, the mainstay of China’s strategic nuclear strength, play a vital role in strategic counterbalance, deterrent control and in winning decisive victory. The formation is made up of two missile brigades from the rocket force.
The Dongfeng-41 (DF-41, East Wind-41) is a Chinese solid-fuelled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile reportedly has an operational range between 12,000 to 15,000 kilometres (7,500 to 9,300 mi), capable of reaching the contiguous United States within 30 minutes. This would make it the world’s longest-range missile, surpassing that of the US LGM-30 Minuteman, which has a reported range of 13,000 kilometres (8,100 mi). It is believed to have a top speed of Mach 25, and to be capable of MIRV delivery (up to 12). Though there have been reports that the DF-41 can carry 6 to 10 warheads, analysts think it most likely carries only three warheads, with the additional payload used for many penetration aids.