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.

China has test fired local amde DF 11 short range ballistic missile 925 001
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.