Chinese army deploys latest ballistic missiles to newest brigade


According to the China Daily, the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force has established a new brigade and armed it with one of the nation's most powerful ballistic missiles.


Chinese army deploys latest ballistic missiles to newest brigade
The DF-26 is an intermediate-range ballistic missile of the Chinese-made Dongfeng (DF) missile family produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) (Picture source: Chinese MoD)


A commissioning ceremony was held recently by the PLA Rocket Force at the new brigade's base at an unidentified location to mark the delivery of "a new type of missile", the Rocket Force said in a statement on 16 April. The move indicated that the brigade has finished the establishment and trial run phases and has begun to gain full combat capability, it said.

The weapon given to the brigade is a domestically developed, new-generation intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of delivering conventional and nuclear warheads. It can carry out rapid nuclear retaliation as well as precision strikes against ground targets or large ships within an intermediate range, according to the statement. It called the missile a new pillar in the Chinese military's strategic deterrence and strike arsenal and a major "trump card", adding that the missile's deployment was "a milestone in the Rocket Force's history" because it has given the force a "new strategic tool".

The Rocket Force also said it has been sparing no effort to foster the capability to conduct nuclear retaliation and intermediate-and long-range precision strikes and has obtained a succession of breakthroughs in new weapons' research and development. Its units received several new types of missiles with various ranges and functions over the past several years, it noted.

The statement did not give the type of missile delivered, but a video clip provided by the Rocket Force and the description of the weapon in the statement indicate it is the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile. The DF-26 is an intermediate-range ballistic missile of the Chinese-made Dongfeng (DF) missile family produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The DF-26 was unveiled for the first time to the public during the military parade of September 3, 2015 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, its existence was confirmed in the mid-2010s but it had already been in service for several years. The DF-26 is based on the DF-21 missile and has range of about 3,500 - 4,000 km. The People's Liberation Army's DF-26 missile, as an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), is unmatched in the world, the Beijing-based Sina Military Network claimed in a report.

A strategy researcher close to the PLA who wished not to be named said Monday's statement was probably the first time the Rocket Force or its predecessor-the PLA Second Artillery Corps-had publicized a new missile's delivery. "Considering that the DF-26 is tasked with hitting key targets on land and at sea, it is very interesting that the Rocket Force published this news at this point," he said, also mentioning that the weapon is widely dubbed the "Guam Killer" in the West.


 

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