China test-fires new ballistic missile

Beijing: China announced that it has successfully test-fired a new 14,000 km range inter-continental ballistic missile which can carry multiple warheads, providing it with a “first strike capability” to attack targets deep inside the US and round the world.

“China last month tested a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-41, or DF-41, which is believed to have a maximum strike distance of 14,000 km,” the state-run CCTV said in a brief report.

The television also showed a rare footage of its missile unit in action, which included the formation of new mobile women’s missile wing.

It quoted experts of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission as saying that as many as 10 nuclear warheads can be put on the missile.

Last week state-run media reported that China was developing the capability to put multiple warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The US military and intelligence officials say that China has developed the new long range Dongfeng-41 ICBM with mobile launching system making it harder to find and destroy the missile before it is launched, the media report said.

Analysts say the missile with multiple warheads also strategic significance to India as it came in the backdrop India’s successful test firing of Agni-V which could reach deep into several Chinese cities.

Highlighting the rapid development of China’s missile programme which has caused concerns in India, US and other countries, official told CCTV that the Second Artillery Corp has developed since its inception in 1966, several division like the ground to ground strategic nuclear missile forces and conventional operational tactical missile forces and support units.

Simultaneously, the state media also announced that China’s first Aircraft carrier, Varyag has set out for 10th sea trials. The retrofit carrier, whose hull was bought from Ukraine is capable of carrying 30 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

It was expected to become operational later this year.

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