China has test-fired DF-11 short-range ballistic missile
On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, the PLA (Chinese People's Liberation Army) Daily released test-fire images and video footage of Chinese-made DF-11 short-range ballistic missile. China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world, upgrading its missile power in number, types and capability.
Test-fire of DF-11 short range ballistic missile from TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) (Picture source PLA Daily)
The DF-11 is a road-mobile, single-stage, solid-propellant, short-range ballistic missile system, capable of delivering a 500 kg mass EY-115 high-explosive fragment (HE/FRAG) warhead. In addition, the missile is believed to be also capable of delivering a variety of conventional warheads such as fuel-air explosive (FAE), sub-munitions, and bunker buster. The DF-11 has a rnage from 280 to 350 km.
The development of the Chinese-made DF-11 began in 1985 as China’s first conventionally-armed tactical ballistic missile system. The missile seems similar to the Soviet-made Scud missile family, including the MAZ-543 cross-country 8×8 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) military truck.
In 1993, Chinese army has started the development of an improved variant of its DF-11 designated DF-11A. In addition to extending the range to over 500 km, the DF-11A is highlighted by its greater accuracy achieved by using a combined INS/GPS guidance system. The first test launch of the DF-11A took place on 6 October 1997.
The DF-11A was designed to provide a conventional long-range firepower that fills the gap in firing-range between artillery rocket systems (50—100 km) and a theatre ballistic missile (over 600 km). The missile has been deployed by both the PLA Group Force (with a missile brigade activated in the Nanjing Military Region in the late 1990s) and the PLA Rocket Force. A 2010 U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) Report to the Congress on the People's Republic of China Military Capabilities estimated that some 700—750 DF-11 missiles and 120—140 launcher systems were deployed, most of which were based near the Taiwan Strait.