How forged the celestial nuclear shield
Today, the People’s Republic of China has a wide spectrum of nuclear weapons land, air and sea bases with strategic and operational-tactical carriers. According to the Military Balance 2010 directory, the nuclear missile arsenal of the People's Republic of China includes 66 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 118 medium-range ballistic missiles, 204 tactical ballistic missiles and 54 long-range cruise missiles based on the ground. In addition, 36 ballistic missiles of nuclear submarines are considered to be deployed. China became the second nuclear power after Russia to create mobile ground-based strategic ballistic missile systems: Dunfeng-21 with a range of 1700-1800 kilometers and Dunfeng-31 capable of overcoming 8 thousands of kilometers.
The total number of nuclear warheads produced in the Middle Kingdom at the beginning of the 21st century is estimated by experts at 750 units - some of them, I suppose, have already been dismantled.
The potential seems to be rather modest in comparison with the strategic nuclear forces of the United States and Russia. But quite enough to feel confidently a great country in all respects. And what is important - hypothetically allowing in readiness mode to cause unacceptable damage in the retaliatory strike of the People’s Liberation Army of China and to conduct large-scale military operations against the armed forces of any nuclear power. And further scientific, technical, and economic growth of the PRC will provide its SNF with the possibility of launching reciprocal-counter and counter-nuclear strikes. So the new quality of the Chinese military machine is not far off ...
THREAT FROM THE OCEAN
The desire of the Celestial Empire to acquire its own nuclear potential goes back to the Korean War, when the United States more than once tried to intimidate the Chinese with an atomic bomb.
At the very beginning of that three-year campaign, in July 1950, US President Harry Truman ordered the deployment of a dozen heavy B-29 bombers modified for use of nuclear weapons at Pacific bases. He said that the United States would take "all necessary measures" to curb Communist China’s intervention in Korea and the related issue of the possible use of nuclear weapons was "actively discussed" in Washington. However, in the fall of that year, 200 “Chinese people's volunteers,” despite the White House’s demarche, joined the battle in order to save the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from final defeat. Obviously, the military power of the Soviet Union, which itself got involved in the war in Korea, sending its fighter to protect Northeast China, was a deterrent in the implementation of American threats. Aviation. She took a direct part in the air battles over the Korean Peninsula, showing the Yankees in all their murderous beauty the legendary MiG-15.
Nevertheless, the newly elected President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, in 1952, publicly hinted that he would order the Chinese to be subjected to atomic bombardment if negotiations on the Korean issue reached a dead end. And after the end of the war, in 1954, General Curtis Limey, commander of the strategic aviation of the US Air Force, also spoke in favor of using nuclear weapons if the PRC resumes hostilities in Korea. Moreover, the threat of Limei was also addressed to the USSR: “In Korea, there are no goals worthy of applying strategic airstrikes. But I would not mind dropping a few bombs on suitable objects in China, in particular in Manchuria, and in southeast Russia ... ”Next year, bring down the nuclear club on China,“ if he invades South Korea, ”promised a militant American admiral Radford.
This kind of statements contributed not only to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the USSR, but also to the very Middle Kingdom to join this dangerous process.
THANKS TO BROTHER ASSISTANCE
History The creation of nuclear weapons in China is very reminiscent of the Soviet atomic project. The same colossal strain of limited scientific, technical and economic forces, severe deprivations that fell to the share of millions and millions of people ... But the leaders of people's China were guided by the notorious slogan "We will remain without pants, but we will be with an atomic bomb", and nothing should have stopped The PRC is striving to fill its status as a great power with nuclear content. And Beijing got a bomb. To a great extent thanks to the assistance provided by the Soviet Union in 50.
The beginning of this in 1951 was the signing of a secret agreement between the USSR and the PRC on the provision of scientific and technical assistance to the Chinese in the field of nuclear research in exchange for their supply of uranium ore. Such studies, publicly declared to be exclusively peaceful, were launched in 1953 year. It is believed that the decision on the course on the creation of national nuclear forces was made in Beijing no later than 1956. In any case, the national Ministry of Atomic Industry, officially named the Third Ministry of Machine Building, appeared in 1954. It was the Chinese equivalent of the Soviet Ministry of Medium Machine Building.
Work in this direction has been accelerated as part of an extensive plan for the development of science and technology, presented in 1956 at the Eighth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. The essential point here was the agreement signed in 1957 with the USSR on the transfer of the Middle Kingdom to a number of Soviet military technologies, including rocket technologies.
We should not think that it was about some kind of obsolete weapons. Moscow generously shared with the then ally the latest defense developments with the exception of intercontinental missiles and heavy strategic bombers. Some Western sources claim that the USSR even seemed to agree to transfer to China a sample of a nuclear weapon and the technology for its production, but in 1959, it refused such an obligation, which greatly offended its Chinese comrades.
Be that as it may, it was precisely with Soviet assistance that nuclear research began at the Beijing Institute of Physics and Atomic Energy and the construction of a gas diffusion uranium enrichment plant in Lanzhou. An important step in the Chinese nuclear program was the launch of the experimental heavy-water nuclear reactor with the thermal power of 601 megawatts and the cyclotron at the 7 plant in the capital of the People's Republic of China.
More than a thousand of our specialists helped the birth and establishment of the nuclear industry of the Celestial Empire; a significant number of Chinese students studied the necessary scientific disciplines for this sphere in the universities of the USSR. In 1958, the construction of a nuclear test site in the area of Lake Lobnor in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region unfolded under cover of the strictest secrecy.
Not forgotten in the USSR and the means of delivery, as well as documentation on them. China received operational tactical ballistic missiles P-2 (German V-2 improved by Sergey Korolev) and P-11, which were already equipped with nuclear warheads in the Soviet Union. P-2 Chinese launched into mass production under the name "Dunfen-1", or "type 1059" ("Dongfen" - "East Wind"), which was the first step towards the creation of a powerful rocket production industry. It was these missiles that served as the material basis for a new separate branch of the PLA troops - the missile, or, in Chinese terminology, second artillery. Their first unit was the training brigade with the Soviet P-2, formed in 1957, and the combat missile division, loudly called strategic, appeared in 1960. By the year 1961, the People’s Liberation Army of China already had 20 regiments equipped with Dunfeng-1 and P-11 (Chinese designation “1060 type”). They were equipped with the usual high-explosive combat units, but in the country, cadre missile personnel began to be nursed.
In addition, the Celestial Empire acquired the production technology of jet bombers - front-line IL-28 (in China “Hun-5”) and long-range Tu-16 (“Hun-6”), which in the USSR performed the tasks of carrying nuclear bombs. Earlier, the Soviet Union sent a large number of IL-28 to the PRC, as well as 25 heavy Tu-4 piston bombers - we should not forget that their American B-29 prototype dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Apparently, the deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations, caused by the 20th CPSU Congress with sly debunking of Stalinism by Nikita Khrushchev, prevented the Kremlin from handing over nuclear weapons itself to China. Having finally and finally quarreled at the turn of the 50-60-s, Moscow and Beijing interrupted all military cooperation. Incidentally, this was reflected in the beginning of the release of the “nuclear” IL-28 and Tu-16 bombers in China - it was only possible to launch their mass production in 1967 and 1968 respectively. By that time, these machines, especially the IL-28, had become pretty outdated. Although, how to say - even at the time of the collapse of the USSR, the Tu-16 accounted for more than a third of the fleet of its sea-launched missile aircraft, and the same age as IL-28, the English Canberra, was considered to be the bearer of its own atomic bomb created there in South Africa .
Despite the gap in good-neighborly relations with the USSR, which had a sensitive effect on the Chinese nuclear program, it nevertheless continued, albeit with substantial difficulties. After all, the “Soviet backlog” in the atomic industry and science of the PRC turned out to be sufficient for this. The Beijing Nuclear Weapons Research Institute (the so-called Ninth Bureau) began construction of the nuclear weapon itself in the 1960 year. In 1962, the Chinese leadership, concerned about the delay in the program, decided to accelerate the construction of a nuclear warhead plant in Qinghai Province (20 Base) with the aim of assembling the first Chinese atomic bomb in 1963. Uranium enrichment at the Lanzhou Gas Diffusion Plant (Plant No. 504) began in 1962, and in 1964 the Jiuquan Atomic Industry Complex manufactured the units necessary for assembling an atomic bomb.
And with trousers and other consumer goods in the Celestial Empire, some problems were observed at that time, aggravated by the economic adventure of the “big leap”. However, they are about the same as in the USSR during the implementation of its atomic project.
THEY DID IT
During the 1960-1964 period, Chinese physicists conducted more than a thousand field experiments in the field of explosion physics, simulating the detonation of a nuclear weapon.
In the summer of 1964, the first three nuclear-explosive devices assembled by the Chinese were delivered to the Lobnor site. They received the code designation "59-6", and it made a lot of sense. After all, it was in June of 1959 that Nikita Khrushchev refused Mao Zedong to transfer Soviet nuclear weapons. Let us recall in this connection that in order to designate the first Soviet nuclear charges, an ingenious abbreviation RDS was chosen - “Russia makes itself”. So in China they wanted to show that they themselves are “with a nuclear mustache”.
The “59-6” nuclear charges were of the implosive type — the Chinese chose this scheme to be more advanced than cannon-type charges, and also requiring less fissile material. The mass of the 59-6 explosive device reached 1550 kg, uranium-235 was used as a nuclear "explosive". Plutonium technology in the Middle Kingdom was not yet mastered.
The first nuclear test with the undermining of the device "59-6", installed on a special tower, took place on October 16 1964. The power of the explosion in TNT equivalent was equal to 22 kilotons, that is, it was possible to achieve the "Hiroshima" indicator.
Seven months later, the Chinese carried out a test of the first combat model of a nuclear weapon — an aerial bomb. The Tu-4 heavy bomber, also known as Hun-4, dropped 14 on May 1965 of the year 35-kiloton uranium bomb, which exploded at an altitude of 500 m above the range. In general, it must be said that the great Bulgarian Asen Yordanov who worked in the Boeing company - the “father” of the American heavy bomber B-29 “Superfortress” (“Over-strength”) - designed a truly historic machine. B-29, copied in the USSR by Stalin’s personal order as Tu-4, became the first means of delivering nuclear weapons successively in three countries — the USA, the Soviet Union, and China. A kind of winged "nuclear midwife." The Chinese have tried to modernize the Tu-4, replacing its piston engines with turboprop engines.
October 27 1966 of the year 12-kiloton uranium warhead to the range of 894 km was delivered by the first Chinese strategic ballistic missile Dunfeng-2, developed on the basis of the Soviet Р-5М of the 1956 model of the year. Documentation on it in the Middle Kingdom still managed to get. This success was a serious achievement of the defense industry of the country: for the first time it managed to create a full-fledged nuclear missile weapon! The rocket was launched from a ground launch pad. For a retrospective comparison, it should be said that the Soviet P-5M was tested by firing at nuclear equipment 10 years before.
In reality, the deployment of the Chinese Dunfen-2A (DF-2A) serial missile began in 1970. They were intended mainly for hitting targets on the territory of the Soviet Far East and American military bases in Japan, since the range of the DF-2A, as well as the Р-5М, was small - only 1250 km. During 1979-1988, the DF-2A missiles were gradually removed from combat duty and stockpiled. In total, the PRC industry launched DF-100A missiles up to 2, of which approximately 50 was deployed.
17 June 1967 from the board of an experienced long-range bomber “Hun-6” (Tu-16) - not yet serial, but assembled in 1959 from Soviet knots, the first Chinese hydrogen bomb was dropped. A two-phase charge based on uranium-235, uranium-238, lithium-6 and deuterium exploded at a height of 2960 m, showing the power of 3,3 megatons. China has mastered thermonuclear weapons. A combat hydrogen charge with the megaton trotyl equivalent of 3, in which the Chinese first used plutonium (to initiate thermonuclear fusion), was tested as a 27 December 1968 tactical bombs by dropping from the Hong-5 (IL-28) front bomber.
In the combat units of the PLA Air Force, “atomic” bombers came in the form of “Hun-XNUMHA” and “Hun-XNUMHA”.
A few years have passed, and the Chinese have demonstrated achievements in the miniaturization of nuclear weapons. 7 January 1972, the Qiang-5 attack aircraft struck a conventional target with an 8-kiloton nuclear bomb famously dropped from a cabriolet, that is, with steep climb. By the way, a simple and reliable “Qiang-5” was developed on the basis of modernizing the MiG-19 fighter, which was mass-produced in the PRC (J-6), which had good reserves. These reserves were not fully used in the USSR, although we also had the MiG-19 variant for the tactical nuclear bomb 244Н.
It is also interesting that the time lag between the creation of atomic and hydrogen weapons in China turned out to be smaller than in the USA, USSR, Great Britain and France.
And on September 29, 1988, in the People's Republic of China, carried out an underground explosion of a neutron nuclear charge with an increased radiation yield. It is assumed that China used intelligence information about the American neutron munition W70. Western sources also reported that the Celestial Empire allegedly was able to extract other American nuclear weapon secrets, including documentation of one of the most advanced W88 warheads designed for the Trident II ballistic missile.
And it can be assumed that Chinese nuclear espionage by the United States alone is not limited to ...
Aleut atomic east ...
- Konstantin Chuprin