An assessment of China's ballistic and cruise missile programme

Publication Type:



NIAS Report , NIAS, Number 81-87663-76-6, Bangalore (2007)



The primary objective of this study is to provide an independent assessment of Chinese ballistic and cruise missile capability. The study also addresses the organisational, strategic and political links in China that impact upon its missile programme. Our study on the Chinese Ballistic and Cruise Missiles uses images of these missiles available in the public domain to make an independent assessment of their capabilities. Length and diameter measurements on the images of these missiles are used to estimate propellant and stage masses. These estimates are used along with trajectory and range models to assess the performance of the missiles. This methodology has been applied to the DF-1, the DF-2, the DF-3, the DF-4, the DF-5, the JL-1 / DF- 21, the JL-2 / DF-31, the DF-15 and the DF-11 ballistic missiles. The scope of our study also included the longer range cruise missiles. Since there were not many images of these missiles available in the public domain we were not able to extend these methods to cover them. However, we have taken stock of developments in Chinese cruise missiles. As and when images become available we believe that our approach can be used to assess their performance as well.


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