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Last Updated: Mon Jan 27 11:18:09 UTC 2014

A Strategic Assessment
PLA Theatre Missile and ASAT Capabilities

Air Power Australia Analysis 2010-02
  2nd December,  2010

A Paper by Martin Andrew, BA(hons), MA, PhD, RAAF(Retd)
Text © 2010 Martin Andrew

DF-21C TEL elevated for launch. The DF-21D ASBM is based on this IRBM airframe (via Chinese Internet).


China’s intermediate range ballistic and cruise missile forces have increased in capability over the past decade and are now starting to pose a considerable conventional strategic risk to nations within South East, South and West Asia as well as Russia.

The DF-11 and DF-15 missiles no longer required opposite Taiwan could be deployed to threaten India and the countries bordering the South China Sea.

The intended OTH-B radar network provides a tripwire early warning capability against aircraft and provides initial targeting of United States carrier battle groups, with potential capability against incoming ballistic and cruise missiles.

The ongoing growth in targeting capabilities is of special concern to the United States, as is China’s continued development and deployment of new ballistic and cruise missile systems, as its regional neighbours embark upon an arms race, equipping their forces with both offensive and defensive systems to counter China’s growth in strategic weapons.


On 15 March 1969 Chinese and Soviet forces clashed during the Damanskyi/Zhen Bao Dao Incident. The PLA were beaten by superior Soviet firepower when a PLA infantry regiment was decimated by a single salvo from six Soviet BM-21 ‘Grad’ multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).1 Later, on 13 August 1969, a reinforced PLA infantry battalion crossed into Kazakhstan and occupied a large deserted hill near Lake Zhalanashkol and were beaten back by a motorised rifle regiment attack.

The Soviet leadership quickly grew tired of these and other border incidents and let the Chinese leadership know, through third parties, that any more incidents would see a Soviet nuclear response on China’s nuclear facilities. This was no idle threat as the Soviet Strategic Air Force in the Far East and Strategic Missile units were put on combat alert.2 These two incidents hammered home to the leadership in Beijing how vulnerable the PLA and China were to Russian conventional and nuclear forces. It also exposed the fallacy of Mao’s strategy of luring the enemy deep into China and then destroying him with People’s War.3

The dramatic rise of China’s economy now sees China’s military talking about asymmetric warfare and the employment of an “assassin’s mace” to defeat an adversary’s high technology systems.

Such a major technological and strategic event occurred at 17:28 hrs E.S.T. on 11 January 2007, when a Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) missile hit a defunct Chinese weather satellite at an altitude of 869km as it passed over China. Timed to coincide with the United States Senate Armed Services Committee Annual Threat Assessment sitting later that day in Washington D.C.; it sent the message that China now had an ASAT capability and that U.S. satellites over China, and by implication Taiwan, were no longer safe.

The Chinese leadership now has both nuclear and conventional offensive and defensive strategic weapons to both defend its borders and conduct operations beyond them. The number and sophistication of these systems continue to grow which is causing concern in both Washington and Moscow. The latter as now almost the entire country is within range of China’s intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).4

The introduction of long range satellite navigation aided guided multiple launch rocket systems will allow the many of the DF-11 (CSS-7) and DF-15 (CSS-6) short range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) missiles facing Taiwan to be redeployed to South West China against India and states bordering the South China Sea. The exception being those DF-15 SRBMs targeted against deeply buried targets.

The “Assassin’s Mace”: China’s ASAT and ASBM Systems and Sensors

The then Secretary of the US Air Force, James J Roche, in an April 2002 speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Doolittle Award ceremony, noted that a bandwidth of 40 Gigabytes was required just for the early days of US operations in Afghanistan. He warned that the increasing use of satellites could lead to issues if they became unavailable. The Chinese had already focused on this key vulnerability, the Achille’s heel of networked Intelligence Surveillance Intelligence operations, and started developing their current national missile defence (NMD) system in 1990.5 The anti-satellite test of the 11th January, 2007 was a cover for the third of a series of anti-ballistic missile tests, the first two were conducted on 7th July, 2005 and 6th February, 2006.  It showed that the PLA was also capable of knocking out satellites and an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), the former showing they could interfere with US information dominance. Conversely the United States is capable of doing the same in return with its land based Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) and sea based Standard SM-3 ABM systems.

China’s first successful ASAT (Anti-SATellite) weapon was launched by a modified road mobile DF-21 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), or its civilian derivative the KT-1, from a Chinese manufactured transporter-erector-launcher (TEL).6 The DF-21 is a road mobile version of China’s JL-1 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Described by the Director of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency as a SC-19 kinetic kill vehicle (KKV), being road mobile enables the launcher, along with communications and engineering support vehicles, to be deployed on the best axis to intercept a satellite passing overhead and making it virtually impossible to target before launch. The linking of China’s robust and numerous ASAT sensor sites enables the Second Artillery Corps to track and provide precise targeting data for its ASAT missile system. It also provides redundancy in the event of an attack on one or more tracking facilities. There are eight satellite ground tracking stations, along with the space and satellite launch facilities at Taiyuan, Wuzhai and Jinquan, supplementing by four maritime tracking and control ships and two external ground stations in Kiribati and Namibia.7.

DF-21 Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile8

The DF-21 (CSS-5) solid fuel IRBM, is the basis for the PLA’s alleged Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) system and a recent article described the furor around it and an explanation of the technology and China’s sensor systems.

The Chinese system is based on the technology from the circa 1973 Soviet SS-NX-13 anti-ship submarine launched ballistic missile system. Designed to destroy an American carrier battle groups (CVBG) using a low yield nuclear warhead, the launch vehicle was based on the airframe of the stored liquid propellant R-27 / SS-N-6 Serb SLBM. It would have used SMKRITs (Sistema Morskoy Kosmicheskoy Razvedki I Tseleukazaniya / Maritime Space Reconnaissance and Targeting System) RORSAT satellite borne radars for initial and mid-course guidance via a radio downlink, and a nose mounted optical correlator providing terminal area guidance. The system never went into service due to the SALT1 Treaty provisions, as the delivery vehicles were counted, not the warheads, meaning one less strategic delivery vehicle.

The Chinese most likely incorporated the late Soviet technology into their vehicle, initially at least. According to the article, initial targeting would be conducted by satellites in conjunction with an over the horizon backscatter (OTH-B) radar. Current planning envisages one with a minimum range of 800km and a maximum range of 3,000 km extending on a 600 arc covering the East China Sea from Shanghai outwards to nearly all of the Philippines, missing out much of the South China Sea. It allegedly misses out some of the disputed islands with Japan, which is seen as a disadvantage as the system cannot be used against South Korean or Japanese warships in most of their home waters.9

China’s Ballistic and Cruise Missiles and Their Effect on the 1987 INF Treaty10

The Soviet Union was able to use its large number of theatre ballistic missiles to threaten all of China, leaving its strategic missile and bomber forces for targets in the United States and elsewhere. The situation has now reversed, with Russia now a victim of its own geography and the Russian leadership is well aware of its vulnerability to the plethora of Chinese theatre nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles coming into service or undergoing final development.

How did this occur? On 8 December 1987 when the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty came into force, and with the stroke of a pen China started to see the major threat to its cities along with its nuclear and conventional forces withdrawn from service. At the same time, China started to deploy the 2,150 km range DF-21, whilst selling ballistic missiles and the technology to any one with the money. Saudi Arabia received CSS-2 IRBMs and Iran received technology to produce the DF-15 and DF-SRBMs. The Chinese have upgraded the DF-21 to 2,500 km range and have developed systems that could easily hold large parts of Russia at risk with nuclear warheads from mobile launchers deep inside China. These do not include the vast numbers of DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs aimed at Taiwan.

The Chinese defence industry is taking a leaf out of Western systems manuals in their drive for high technology accurate missile and rocket systems. The SY400 (SY is short for shen ying which translates as ‘Divine Eagle’) is China’s answer to the United States M30 GPS guided MLRS rocket. Eight rockets are housed on a single launcher, four containers across and two deep on an 8 x 8 WS-2400 series TEL.11 The P-12 ‘battlefield guided rocket’ appears to be the Chinese answer to the GPS guided ATACMS Block IA system, utilizing a shortened 6 x 6 version of the Chinese TEL. Two rockets, mounted offset in a single launcher, are stored in the hull. To enable firing, two rooftop doors open outwards; the launcher then being raised into the correct elevation before firing.12 This configuration is similar to the much larger Russian 9K720 Iskander-M mobile Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) system.

The accuracy of the DF-21 IRBM has been enhanced in recent years as has the DF-15D, which is the corps support weapon for the PLA’s new heavy mechanized corps.

Warheads, similar to the radar seeker guided earth penetrator employed on the Pershing II IRBM, have been observed and satellite guidance updates using China’s own Beidou system are expected.13 Satellite guidance is employed on the SY400 and P-12 ‘battlefield guided rockets’, the former being China’s answer to the United States M30 GPS aided MLRS and the latter the GPS aided ATACMS Block IA system.14 The appearance of an enhanced accuracy Chinese IRBM is one reason the Russians wish to pull out of the INF treaty, the other is the appearance of a Chinese Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM).



The ground launched CJ-10 Long Sword is a strategic cruise missile modelled on the United States BGM-109G GLCM and Soviet RK-55 Relief, the latter both scrapped under treaty obligations. Chinese sources credit this missile with a range of up to  1,100 nautical miles. It carries a range of different 770 lb or 1,100 lb warheads. The PLA Second Artillery Force has currently up to 30 deployed TELs (Chinese internet).

Launch of a 'Tomahawk-like' PLA-N YJ-62/C-602 cruise missile from a three round 8 x 8 TEL vehicle. The YJ-62/C-602 ASCM/GLCM best compares to the 1980s proposed but never implemented deployment of the BGM/RGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TASM) on the  BGM-109G Gryphon GLCM TEL. (Chinese internet).

CJ-10 and C-602/YJ-62 Cruise Missile Systems

The CJ-10 long range cruise missile is the system that would be giving Russian air defence planners nightmares.15 The CJ-10 system could easily be mistaken for the United States BGM-109G Gryphon GLCM that was scrapped under the 1987 INF Treaty. The technology to develop this missile into a GLCM was given a huge boost with the illegal transfer of six Soviet designed Raduga Kh-55SM (AS-15 Kent) air launched cruise missiles from the Ukraine in 2000.16 Chinese missile designers received the same missile which shared key internal components with the 3,000 km range Soviet RK-55 Relief / SSC-X-4 ‘Slingshot’ GLCM. Eighty RK-55 Relief GLCMs along with their six TELs were destroyed under the INF Treaty.17

The Chang Jian (Long Sword) CJ-10 long range cruise missile system is reported to have started trials with the Second Artillery Force in 2004 and as of September 2009, between 50 and 250 missiles had been deployed along with between 20 and 30 launch vehicles.18 Their existence was initially revealed by Chinese media during the practice parade for 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. It is identified by three long launch canisters, square in circumference, mounted on the rear of the Chinese WS 2400 8 x 8 Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL), the missile has a reported range of over 1,500km and up to 2,000km.

The missile uses both GLONASS and GPS satellite systems for guidance with four different types of warheads available; a heavy variant weighing 500kg, and three 350kg variants: high explosive blast, submunition and earth penetrator.19

The WS2400 series 20 tonne 8 x 8 cross-country vehicles are based upon reverse engineered copies of the Belarus MAZ-543 series 8 x 8 TEL. When used as the TEL for the CJ-10, it is designated as the PHL-03 and has a maximum road speed of 60 km/hr with a maximum range of 650 km using sealed roads. It can climb a 57% gradient and ford water up to 1.1. metres deep.20 Compared to the United States GLCM, it has one less missile and the three missiles are in separate canisters, whereas on the GLCM system they were in a single quad-pack launcher. The Russian SSC-X-4 had six tubes on the same TEL so the amount of CJ-10 launch canisters could easily be doubled to six.

The CJ-10, along with the upgraded DF-21, are another reason why Russia wants to scrap the INF Treaty.

Another Chinese cruise missile of strategic interest is the C-602/YJ-62 long range Anti Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM). The subsonic C-602/YJ-62 uses the standard Chinese WS2400 series 8 x 8 TEL, and when compared to United States GLCM, has one less missile and the three missiles are in separate canisters, whereas on the GLCM system they were kept in a single quad-pack launcher. This is a very similar TEL configuration to the CJ-10, but employs distinctive cylindrical launch canisters, compared to the truncated square section canisters used on the CJ-10 TEL.

The C-602/YJ-62 ASCM/GLCM best compares to the 1980s proposed but never implemented deployment of the BGM/RGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TASM) on the BGM-109G Gryphon GLCM TEL. This proposal was intended to deny the Soviet V-MF transit through key strategic choke points. Modern Western cruisers, destroyers and frigates, equipped with modern sensors and anti-missile systems would easily cope with such a slow missile, especially ones equipped with X-band AESA ASMD systems.

What the Chinese now have in service is thus a ground launched long range ASCM, presently equipped with a large conventional warhead and satellite aided inertial and radar terminal guidance system, which with little effort could be replaced by a smaller and lighter in weight nuclear warhead and inertial navigation system. With space freed up inside the missile body for more fuel the implications are obvious. Even without a specialised land attack guidance and payload package, the employment of a satellite aided inertial midcourse guidance package confers a significant land attack capability to the C-602/YJ-62 ASCM, allowing employment in a manner not unlike dual role late production variants of the RGM-84 Harpoon ASCM. Therefore consideration should be given to counting C-602/YJ-62 TELs against theatre GLCM capabilities currently provided by the CJ-10 GLCM.



DF-21C carried by high mobility WS-2400 TEL. The PLA ASAT is based on this IRBM airframe (via Chinese Internet).

Early model DF-21/21A towed TEL (via Chinese Internet).

Deployed TS-504 digital troposcatter system. It is likely that PLA IRBM and ASBM batteries employ these systems to provide connectivity to the national C3 grid (image  Chinese internet).

China’s Cruise and Ballistic Missile Defence

China does not have a strategic BMD system capable of intercepting an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), let alone a Medium / Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM/MRBM). The DF-21 is not suitable as the first stage of an Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) as it is too large and lacks acceleration. China’s modest Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability rests with the S-300 series surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems purchased from Russia. Four versions of the S-300 are in service the PMU, PMU1 and PMU2 and the navalised S-300FM Rif. Based on the S-300PMU1, the Rif equips the PLAN’s two Type 51C Luzhou air-defence destroyers enabling them to contribute to the protection of a coastal site against SRBM attack.

The S-300PMU2 has the best chance of intercepting an SRBM missile as it employs the 48N6E2 missile which has a warhead optimised for destroying ballistic missiles, and better kinematics compared to earlier 48N6 missiles. All Chinese land based S-300P/PM family SAM systems use versions of the S-Band 64N6 Big Bird rotating phased array battle management radar, which can acquire and track a ballistic missile. In its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) mode the radar antenna operates in a mechanically steered electronically scanned sector search and track mode, restricting its use in the air defence role. Chinese SAM sites also employ the mechanically steered S-Band 36D6 Tin Shield acquisition radar, which supplants the more powerful 64N6 Big Bird when it is in BMD mode. Engagement of the inbound target using 48N6E2 missiles is effected using the 30N6E X-band phased array illumination and guidance radar (RPN – Radiolokator Podsveta i Navedeniya).

PLA Theatre ABM Systems

Above: PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit battery components - LEMZ 96L6E acquisition radar on MKZT-7930 chassis, 5P85TE2 TEL with BAZ-64022 tractor. In the background a TS-504 tropospheric scatter communications system, modelled on the AN/TRC-170 series, used to support PLA air defence units. Below: PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit battery launching a 48N6E2 round (via Chinese Internet).

HQ-9 TEL using the Taian TAS-5380 chassis. This system may have some ABM capability, but it is kinematically inferior to the imported Russian S-300PMU2 Favorit (via Chinese Internet).

Russia’s Response

China’s IRBM and cruise missile programs have not gone unnoticed in Moscow, but Russian forces are limited in their ability to respond with a counter strike to a TBM or cruise missile attack, short of using their strategic bomber forces or inter-continental ballistic missile systems (ICBMs). The lack of a credible intermediate range strike system against China and possibly other nations, although it would be difficult to conceive of another, is another possible reason behind Russian threats to withdraw from the 1987 INF Treaty.21 The technology is readily available. The Iskander-M mobile short range ballistic missile system, has a range of 400 km which could easily be modified to carry an nuclear warhead in excess of 500km with high accuracy, if Russia was to withdraw from the INF treaty.22

If Russia were to come under the threat of a conventional Chinese GLCM or IRBM attack, hunting them down before they launched their missiles by air would be almost impossible. Su-34 and Tu-22M3 bombers could be in used to hunt down the TELs and resupply vehicles after a launch but this would be fruitless given prior Western experience in hunting elusive targets from the air. The Russian military has yet to deploy the ISR assets that the Allies had in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, yet ‘The Great Scud Hunt’ achieved very little tactically for the effort expended and this was in essentially an “ISR friendly” desert environment.23 In over 3,000 sorties conducted over Kosovo during the 77 day Operation Allied Force, NATO aircraft succeeded in only destroying 26 tanks out of the 440 in what was a very small area geographically. Serbian ground forces, mainly of company strength units of 80 – 150 personnel, with around six armoured vehicles, operating autonomously or semi-autonomously of each other were hard to locate by their size and movement. Operating in woods they were not a large target, and by not moving in a set direction, they did not allow the build up of an intelligence picture.24 Chinese DF-21 and GLCM detachments might be even smaller, and linked via troposcatter systems to the C3 grid, conferring considerable flexibility in deployment.

Russian ground based theatre defence against ballistic and cruise missiles are centered on the in-service S-300V / SA-12A/B Giant/Gladiator, S-300PMU1 and S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20A/B Gargoyle and the recently introduced S-400 Triumf / SA-21 dual role SAM systems, all of which have an anti-ballistic missile capability.25

The S-300PMU1 and PMU2 can intercept DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs, and the S-300V and S-400 Triumf systems are capable of intercepting a multiple IRBM attack by all DF-21 model IRBMs.

Whether there are currently enough deployed or to be procured, along with their radars to protect Russian assets against the plethora of Chinese theatre ballistic and cruise missile systems becoming available, is open to question. The enhanced but yet to be produced S-300VM/VMK is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles with a range of 2,500 km re-entry speeds of 4.5 km/sec, whereas the S-400 is claimed to be capable of intercepting ballistic missiles with a range of 3,500 km which equates to re-entry speeds of 4.8 to 5 km/sec. A system designed to intercept warheads at 5 km/sec has the ability to act as a point system against simple ICBM warheads which have a typical re-entry speed of 7km/sec.26 This means the S-300VM has the capability of intercepting the later versions of the DF-21 but in a much reduced coverage area. To test and deploy the S-300VM, S-400 and even the S-300PMU2 systems against advanced SRBMs or theatre ballistic missiles, Russia would have had to abrogate the provisions of the 1972 ABM Treaty so the treaty was defunct well before the United States withdrew from it27.

The Russians believe the threat is serious enough to deploy their second S-400 battalion to Central Russia and other battalions are slated for the eastern and southern regions.28

Taiwan Straits – New Rocket Systems Supplanting Ballistic Missiles?

The United States Department of Defense in its 2008 Annual Report to Congress on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China reported it believed that all of China’s 300 km range DF-11 and 600 km range DF-15 SRBMs were facing Taiwan, amounting to a combined total of between 970 and 1,070 missiles along with 200 ground launched cruise missiles. This assessment will concentrate on the SRBMs and the cruise missiles, as they are the weapons that can do the most damage at present. The number of deployed launchers is between 210 to 250 and assumes that each DF-15 TEL is capable of firing three missiles and each DF-11 can fire five missiles before needing to be refurbished. For every DF-15 TEL deployed, there is a need for one missile reloading vehicle, and two such for each DF-11, as each reloading vehicle is assumed to carry two missiles. So add another large vehicle or two and this results in a large road movement by large vehicles which would attract attention.

The question is just how many missiles could be fired and how long firing can be sustained until the in situ warstocks are depleted. Not all of the TELs and their support vehicles will be fully operational at any one time, but to reduce the down time we can assume that some refurbishment of the TELs could be performed on site. The missile reloads however would need to be sent back to the factory for refurbishment, so more large reloading vehicles or a TEL would be required. What if these refurbished missiles have been counted twice, as had their TELs? Let us assume the lower U.S. figures for launchers, which are 90 DF-15 TELs and 120 DF-11 TELs. Even if we assume full operational availability there are only 270 DF-15s and 600 DF-11s available and after three DF-15 firings there, are only 240 SRBMs available. This is an insufficient number of missiles to cripple Taiwan’s defences, though they could cause considerable damage. No SRBM system, using non-precision guided conventional warheads, is capable of guaranteeing the destruction of hardened and dispersed targets with a single missile. Even using cluster munition warheads on soft targets, multiple missiles would be required reducing the amount of targets that could be hit. If enough missiles were retrofitted with satellite aided guided warheads this could change.

Taiwan has developed and is producing the Hsiung Feng IIE 600 km range land attack cruise missiles and it can be expected that the D-11 and D-15 ballistic missile bases would be among the first targets along with the S-300PMU2 / SA-20B SAM sites and command and control centres covering the Taiwan Straits.29

The PLA can now start to remove the earlier models of their DF-11 and DF-15 missiles as new developments in Chinese self-propelled multiple rocket systems have created more survivable and easily deployed systems which can literally overwhelm air defences within their range. The WS-2 Wheeled Self-Propelled Wheeled Multiple Launched Rocket System uses a six-tube launcher, on a simple 6 x 6 truck. The basic rocket has a 200 kg warhead, a peak velocity of Mach 5.6 and a maximum range of 200 km, although at that range its accuracy is poor, with a circular error of probability cited at 600 m.30

The newer WS-2D is quoted as having a maximum range of 380 km. However, by utilising a GPS/GLONASS aided guided warhead similar to the SY-400 and P-12, the WS-2 series could easily, and far more cheaply, saturate Taiwan’s defences, than the DF-11 and DF-15 ballistic missile systems. Perhaps this is the reason the Chinese Government offered to reduce the amount of missiles facing Taiwan in early January this year31.

Other Theatres

The numbers of missiles and TELs quoted in the report to Congress are taken as accurate by many observers, and undoubtedly the majority of China’s SRBMs are facing Taiwan, but there are others. There would be a few launchers and missiles for use for test firing as part of their reliability program and to trial new warheads. More importantly at least 12 DF-15D TELs and their attendant vehicles are in Xinjiang as part of the PLA’s new heavy mechanized corps.32 DF-15D TELs in northeast China would be designated to support China’s heavy corps in Shenyang and dedicated for use against North Korea. The issue for Taiwan is how to counter China’s enhanced accuracy warheads.

The Future

China’s intermediate range ballistic and cruise missile forces have increased in capability over the past decade and are now starting to pose a considerable conventional strategic risk to nations within South East, South and West Asia as well as Russia. The DF-11 and DF-15 missiles no longer required opposite Taiwan could be deployed to threaten India and the countries bordering the South China Sea. The intended OTH-B provides a tripwire early warning capability against aircraft and provides initial targeting of United States carrier battle groups, with potential capability against incoming ballistic and cruise missiles.33

The ongoing growth in targeting capabilities is of special concern to the United States, as is China’s continued development and deployment of new ballistic and cruise missile systems, as its regional neighbours embark upon an arms race, equipping their forces with both offensive and defensive systems to counter China’s growth in strategic weapons.34


1 . Riabushkin, D.S. & Pavliuk, V.D. ‘Soviet Artllery in the Battles for Damanskii Island’, Journal of Slavic Studies, Volume 20, Issue 1, 2007, pp. 122, 125 & 126 Ryabushkin, D.S. Voyenno-Istorichechskaya Biblioteka: Mify Damanskogo, OOO "AST" Publishing, Moscow 2004, pp. 163-172. 

2. Gobarev, V.M. ‘Soviet Policy Toward China: Developing Nuclear Weapons 1949- 1969’, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 12, No. 4, December 1999, p. 46.

3. Sewell, S.L. Chinese Military Strategy. Comments by Senior Colonel Hua Liuhu, a PLA specialist on strategy and security, at a presentation given by him to the United Sates Command and General Staff College on 8 January 2000, p. 3.

4 . A ballistic missile with a maximum range less than 1,000km is classed as a short ranged ballistic missile (SRBM). A MRBM has a maximum range from 1,000km to 2,500km and an IRBM above 2,500km to 5,500km.

5 . ‘“CNMD” Liangxiangle! ___ Jiedu Woguo chuci fadao dangjie shiyan’, Tanke zhuangjia cheliang, 2010 Niandi, 3 Qi, Zhongdi 303, pp. 50 – 53

6 . ‘Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Annual Threat Assessment 27 February 2007’, Department of National Intelligence website,, accessed 21 February 2009.

7 . ‘China’s Space Facilities’, Global Security.Org, accessed 21 February 2009.

8 . ‘Dandao daodan tuji handmade aomi’, Bingqi Zhishi, 2010 Niandi, 10A Qi, Zhongdi 302, pp. 51-53.

9 . Ibid., p. 53.

10 . I would like to thank Dr Carlo Kopp of Air Power Australia, and Dr Rick Fisher of the International Strategy and Assessment Center, who provided suggestions and improvements to an earlier draft of this paper.

11. ‘SY400 (“shenying” 400) zhidao huojian wuqi xitong’, Bingqi Zhishi, 2008 Niandi, 12A Qi, Zhongdi 286, p. 5.

12. ‘P12 liujun daodan wuqi xitong’, (P12 battlefield guided rocket weapons system), Bingqi Zhishi, , 12A/2008, Number 286, p. 9.

13 . Fisher, Richard D. ‘New Chinese Missiles Target the Greater Asian Region’, International Security and Assessment Center, 24 July 2007, accessed 10 February 2009.

14. ‘SY400 (“shenying” 400) zhidao huojian wuqi xitong’, Bingqi Zhishi, 2008 Niandi, 12A Qi, Zhongdi 286, p. 5. ‘P12 liujun daodan wuqi xitong’, Bingqi Zhishi, 2008 Niandi, 12A Qi, Zhongdi 286, p. 9.

15. ‘Zhongguo C602 xinxing yuancheng fanchuan daodan’, , Bingqi Zhishi, (Ordinance Knowledge), 12A/2008, Number 286, p. 2.

16 . Kopp, Carlo. ‘Bypassing the NMD: China and the Cruise Missile Proliferation Problem’, International Assessment and Strategy Center,, 22 June 2006, accessed 10 February 2009. Also Kopp, Carlo, 'Kh-55/RKV-500A / 55OK / 55SM/RKV-500B / AS-15 Kent Cruise Missile', Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0805,

17 . ‘SSC-X-4’,,, accessed 10 February 2009.

18 . ‘“Zhenmi zhishuai” zai puguang ___ Cong Guoqing 60 zhuonian Dayuebing kan jiefang dier paobing budui’, Tanke Zhuangjia Cheliang, 2009 Niandi,11 Qi, Zhongdi 295 Qi,pp. 22-25.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21 . ‘Russia to compensate for INF losses with Iskander missile system’, RIA Novosti, 14 November 2007,, accessed 29 April 2008.

22. Ibid.

23 . Rosenaeu, William. Special Operations Forces and Elusive Enemy Ground Targets: Lessons from Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War, RAND, Snat Monica, 2002, pp. 40 – 43.

24 . Mann, P. ‘NATO Arraigned For ‘Strategic Miscalculation’’, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Vol. 150, No. 8, 3 May 1999, p. 22.

25 . NATO reporting names for the S-300PMU1 and S-300PMU2 is SA-20 Gargoyle; the S-400 is SA-21; and the S-300V is SA-12A/B Giant/Gladiator. Performance figures for the S-300 series are from taken from ‘S300VM (Antey-2500)’, S-300PMU-1 Air Defence Systems and Favorit Long Range Air Defence System’ in ‘Air Defence Systems’, Rosoboronexport Catalogue, Rosonboronexport, Moscow, 2003, pp, 10-13,

26 . Gronlund, Lisbeth; Lewis; Georhe; Postol Theodore and Wright, David. ‘Highly Capable Theater Missile Defenses and the ABM Treaty’, Arms Control Today, April 1994, pp. 3 – 8

27 . Ibid.

28 . ‘S400 air defense systems to be deployed in Central Russia’, RIA Novosti ,14 January 2008, accessed 23 January 2009.

29 . ‘Taiwan to Produce 300 Hsiung Feng IIE Cruise Missiles’, Defense Industry Daily, 29 Oct 2008,15:08 EDT, accessed 31 October 2008.

30 . ‘“Zhongguo Weishi” xilie yuan chengduo guohuojian wuqi xitong’, Bingqi Zhishi, 2009 Niandi, 1A Qi, Zhongdi 260, pp. 30 – 32.

31 . ‘MND unmoved by PRC missile report’, Taipei Times, 4 January 2009,,  accessed 15 April 2009.

32 . Wang Hui, ZTZ-98 zhuzhantanke zhuangjia, (ZTZ-98 Armored Main Battle Tank), Inner Mongolia Cultural Publishing Company, 2002, p. 74.

33 . China’s OTHR system interferes with HAM radio operators who discuss it on their QRZ Internet forum. ‘ever hear of the “Chinese Dragon” (over the horizon radar? Annoying!, QRZ Forums,, accessed 22 February 2009.

34 . Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command quoted in Gertz, Bill. ‘China Intelligence Gaps’ ,Washington Times, 26 February 2009,, accessed 1 March 2009.

Air Power Australia Analyses  ISSN   1832-2433

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