Hu Xijin, chief editor of the Chinese government’s bellicose mouthpiece Global Times, has caused yet another stir among his readers with an exposé of the country’s next-generation “super” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) – Dongfeng-41.

Hu said on his blog that he had seen a real Dongfeng-41 during a recent trip to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the bastion of Beijing’s aerospace and air-defense buildup that has just celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Hu’s blog could be further confirmation that China is about to deploy a super-ICBM that might make Washington and its allies antsy.

Dongfeng-41’s predecessor, Dongfeng-31A, a road-mobile, three-stage, solid-fuel rocket, was once touted as capable of hitting targets anywhere across the North Hemisphere with a range of 11,500 kilometers, making targets in the contiguous United States easily reachable. With a warhead for single or multiple 1-megaton thermonuclear weapons, it’s at present the buttress of the People’s Liberation Army’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Dongfeng-31A ICBMs. Photo: Xinhua

On the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA this August, a new DF-31AG, with a range of 13,000km, was unveiled for the first time.

Now the guessing game is on as to the might of China’s next-generation ICBMs, rumored to be named Dongfeng-41.

Hu quoted an anonymous source as saying that the super-ICBM was nearing the end of tests, and other than further enhancements to its maneuverability, range – no less than 14,000km – and staged propulsion system, the major breakthrough was a new warhead design that can house six to 10 miniaturized nuclear bombs, so a single Dongfeng-41 missile would be able to “destroy an entire belligerent country.”

Dongfeng-41 also uses penetration aids such as decoys or chaff and maneuverable re-entry vehicles to complicate and pierce through its enemy’s missile warning and defense system.

A separate report by Chinese news patrol Sina suggests a new variant of Dongfeng-41 can traverse 15,000km and hit New York City within 21 minutes from launch from its base in central China’s Henan province, and its top cruising speed can exceed 30,000km/h.

Other sources reveal that the PLA may have already developed a new transporter erector launcher system that can fire Dongfeng-41 from a train, taking advantage of the nation’s sprawling high-speed railway network to give a big boost to speed of response and maneuverability.

Hu said the world would not have to wait for too long before Beijing officially acknowledges the full deployment of its war-ready Dongfeng-41 missiles.

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