Strategic Weapons: October 20, 1999


The National Missile Defense system will initially be deployed in 2005 (assuming that the Russians are willing to modify the ABM treaty or the US is willing to scrap it) to shoot down a few missiles from a rogue nation such as North Korea or Iran, or a renegade Russian or Chinese general who controls only a few missile silos. Once that is complete, however, the US plans to continually test and upgrade the system to improve its capabilities, allowing it to deal with ever-increasing levels of attack. This is considered necessary since any potential adversary, knowing that an attack of "Level X" would be a waste of time, would try to develop the forces to conduct an attack of "Level X+Y".--Stephen V Cole

China displayed its missile forces during its 50th anniversary military parade. The well-known DF-15 (M9, CSS6) missile was seen on a previously-known transporter-erector-launcher (TEL). The missile has a range of 600km and a single warhead that could be nuclear, chemical, unitary high explosive, or submunitions. The DF21A (CCS5, the land-based version of the submarine-launched JL1) was displayed in its launch canister on a new TEL. It has a range of 2,500km and carries a single warhead that could be nuclear, chemical, unitary high explosive, or submunitions. The prize of the show was the new DF31 (CSS9; the naval JL2 /CSSN4 is thought to be virtually the same weapon) was shown in its launch canister on a new TEL. It is thought to be two years from deployment. The DF31/JL2 has a range of 8,000km. It may have a multiple nuclear warhead. The DF31 marks a major shift from liquid fuel to solid fuel.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Strategic Weapons: Current 2022 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