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China MIRVs DF-5


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https://fas.org/blogs/security/2015/05/china-mirv/

Taking bets on how long it takes India to announce similar capability.

 

If we go by how long it took to "develop" the INSAS and Arjun..... Wouldn't put too much faith in it before the sun goes supernova.

 

At least it will have some amazing design defects such as pre maturely ejecting some of the mirvs back into your own territory that only the Indian arms industry can pull off though.

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On a more serious note, this is a rather odd development, China is usually extremely secretive about anything to do with their Nuclear programs, Military or Civil (If you go there as a foreigner, don't even talk about it,) plus they only have as many warheads on hand as they need to have an effective deterrent as opposed to a M.A.D. sized arsenal like the USA and USSR during the Cold War. Although this is a rather unpredictable number, as due to the high secrecy talked about before, the exact amount of nuclear warheads China currently has stockpiled isn't even 100% known to anyone outside the country's very higher ups, it's often estimated to be anywhere from 250-500 warheads however depending on which sources you want to "trust". They also have a strict "no first use" policy in place so I do wonder why this is being brought to light now. (or, I guess it's the pentagon bringing it to light but, I digress.)

 

Basically, they've never really put much into MIRVs because, as for the reasons listed above, they've never had to, simply the threat of dropping even a single 5 MT warhead on, say, Tokyo if Japan/It's allies get too close for comfort would normally be enough for the deterrent factor. According to this nifty little website, http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/a single 5 MT airblast over Tokyo (the size of the current single warhead on the DF-5) would result in 4 million immediate deaths and 9 million injuries, and obviously countless billions in destruction. 6 million dead and 8 billion injured for New Delhi, India and around the same for Mumbai, who also isn't exactly on good terms with China as said before. But, with missile shields getting more advanced and being able to shoot down a single re entry vehicle more easily then ever as stated in the article, I guess this is the big reason that MIRV deployment and possibly future use in SLBMs is now seen as needed.

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The deterrence value of MIRVed nukes is weird, because there's a school of thought that holds them as encouraging a first counterforce strike by putting many eggs into relatively few baskets. But now with ABM focusing on the sort of thing that would kill one RV rather than having a good chance at messing up all the RVs from the same bus, their value for saturating defenses is higher.

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  • 3 months later...

Picture time, Some photos of the DF-5B (The MIRV variant) have been revealed over the past couple months, usually in sections.

 

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Upper and lower stages being transported separately.

 

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Note the change in nose shape compared to the DF-5, this allows up to 8 re entry vehicles to be fitted.

 

When the DF-5B is in full service (if it isn't already, China doesn't exactly say much about it's nuclear tech), It should be second to only the DF-41 in capability and just ahead of the DF-31B as far as their ICBM models go.

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