Artillery: Looking At The DF-16


September 16, 2012:  In early September China finally released photos of its new DF-16 ballistic missile [PHOTO]. This is more than a year after Taiwanese intelligence revealed that the DF-16 existed and five months after commercial satellite images of the DF-16 were spotted. These satellite images confirmed that The DF-16 did indeed exist.

Last year the Taiwanese claimed that China had deployed a new ballistic missile, the DF (Dongfeng) 16 and that some of them were aimed at Taiwan. The DF-16 had never been mentioned publically before that. It appeared to be an upgrade of the DF-15, as the Taiwanese announcement only described the DF-16 as having a "longer range." The DF-16 is probably a replacement for the older DF-11.

Most of the 1,600 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan are DF-11 and DF-15 models. The DF-11 (also known as the M11) weighs 4.2 tons, has a range of 300 kilometers, and carries a .8 ton warhead. The DF-15 (M9) weighs 6.2 tons, has a range of 700 kilometers, and carries a half ton warhead. Both of these are solid fuel missiles, so the DF-16 probably would be as well. A "longer range" DF-15 would likely weigh over eight tons and have a range of 1,000 kilometers or more. Or something like that. Before last year there was no open discussion of a DF-16 missile but the Chinese were known to have been continuing work on the DF-11/DF-15 class missiles, particularly warhead design (as in penetration aids to defeat anti-missile systems).

The photos of the DF-16 show the missile used in a 10x10 wheeled TEL (Transporter-Erector-Launcher) similar to the one used for the new DF-21C MRBM (Medium Range Ballistic Missile). The DF-16 TEL uses sturdy storage containers that the missiles can be launched from.



Article Archive

Artillery: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close