China to deploy DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile next year

China’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), DF-41 is expected to be deployed in early 2018, CCTV reported citing a military expert on Nov. 26.

The solid-fueled missile was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALTV) for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force.

Dongfeng-41 can be launched from road- and rail-mobile launcher platforms, as well as silo-based launchers. The missile is 16.5 meters in length with a diameter of 2.78 meters.

The missile has an operational range between 12,000 km to 15,000 km with a circular error probable (CEP) of 100-500m. This would make the DF-41 the world’s longest range missile, surpassing the range of the U.S. LGM-30 Minuteman which has a reported range of 13,000 km.

It is believed to have a top speed of Mach 25, and to be capable of MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) delivery (up to 10). The development of the MIRV technology is reported to be in response to the deployment of the United States national missile defense system which degrades China’s nuclear deterrence capability.

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