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PLA's nuclear arsenal slowly eroding US Pacific defenses

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A DF-41 mobile-road launcher

PLA's nuclear arsenal slowly eroding US Pacific defenses

Want China Times
27 November 2014

China's nuclear forces are expected to become more lethal and survivable against US defenses in the Western Pacific within three to five years, according to a report published by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission as cited by the Jane's Defence Review.

"Estimates of China's nuclear forces and nuclear capabilities by non-governmental experts and foreign governments tend to be higher than US estimates," the publication said in response to the commission's report. China's nuclear forces will become more powerful and deadly after more road-mobile nuclear missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles and five Type 094 Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines enter service with the People's Liberation Army.

The JL-2 intercontinental-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile, with a range of approximately 4,600 miles, would allow China to launch a nuclear strike against Alaska when launched from Chinese territorial waters. It could be used against Hawaii when launched from seas south of Japan. It could reach as far as the west of the continental United States if fired from waters west of Hawaii. East of Hawaii, all 50 US states are in range.

In next three to five years, China's nuclear arsenal will weaken US deterrence in the Western Pacific, particularly with respect to Japan. The DF-41, another road-mobile ICBM, will be ready as early as 2015. With a range of 7,456 miles and capable of carrying 10 warheads, it could overwhelm the entire US ballistic missile defense. Beijing will be able to attack US satellites kinetically and electronically in the foreseeable future as well.


1 comment :

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