Military Review

Mobile missile systems DF-21C deployed in central China

Mobile missile systems DF-21C deployed in central China

One of the latest Pentagon reports on Chinese military power has caused sensational headlines in the Indian media that China has deployed new nuclear missiles near the Indian border.

News the messages got a little messy, and new commercial satellite imagery shows that the launchers of the new DF-21C missiles are deployed in the central west of China.

New launchers DF-21C
Analysis of images from commercial satellites shows that the mobile installations of DF-21C medium range ballistic missiles are now deployed a few hundred kilometers west of Delingha in the western part of central China. In one of the 14 June 2010 images of the GeoEye-1 satellite, two launchers are visible approximately 230 km west of Delingha. Installations are located on dry desert slopes near Mount Chilian along the G215 national road. Rocket launchers, barracks, maintenance rooms and service units are hidden under large dark camouflage, which clearly stands out from the brown desert soil.

The Eastern Positioning Area (38 ° 6'37.75 "N, 94 ° 59'2.19" E) includes a central square with red barracks, clearly visible under camouflage, which probably also covers logistics premises, communication machines, fuel trucks, and vehicles for the transport of personnel. A 88-sized building on 17 meters of brown camouflaged color probably accommodates maintenance rooms with five 15-meter garages. Mobile launchers are located nearby. Approximately 130 meters north of the central square under brown camouflage and dirt barriers are fuel blocks. One can see two pads, one in 180 meters from the main buildings, the other on the access road leading to the national road G215.

The western positioning region (38 ° 9'32.82 "N, 94 ° 55'37.02" E) is located approximately 7 km to the west and about 2,4 km north of the national G215 road. It consists of four sections: personnel barracks, logistics vehicles, maintenance facilities of 90 size per 33 meter and four garages, and possibly also a fuel storage area. The launch pad is located along the access road near G215.

The satellite image shows how the entry or exit of the DF-21C mobile complex from a masked maintenance area looks like. The characteristic cone-shaped nose of the rocket is clearly visible behind the driver’s cabin, the rest of the launcher is probably covered with a tarpaulin.

This is the first time that DF-21C has been detected in its deployment area. In 2007, the first visual signs of a transition from DF-4 to DF-21 in the Delingha region were observed on commercial satellite images. For the second time in 2008, an extensive launch pad system was observed, which extends west from Delingha along the G215 national route (last Da Qaidam).

There are five launch sites within a radius of five miles from two missile sites with dozens of other sites along the G215 route in both its directions and to the north of it.

Less vulnerable
China's ongoing transition from outdated liquid fuel rockets to new solid-fuel rockets is attracting more and more attention. New systems are more mobile and therefore less vulnerable to enemy attacks. However, satellite images also give hints of restrictions on their use.

First, the mobile launcher is large. It requires considerable human resources and a large amount of support equipment. This makes its fast movement limited and relatively easy to detect from satellite images.

Mobile launch complexes, of course, will be dispersed in the landscape in case of war. But despite the fact that mobile launchers have some off-road capabilities, they require solid ground at launch to prevent damage from debris raised by rocket engines. As a result, launch complexes will have to remain on the roads or be used from ready-made launch sites, which are clearly highlighted on high-resolution satellite images. In addition, the launcher will not simply be driven off and will launch itself, it should all happen with the support of vehicles for orientation, repair and communication.

Indian Media News
Reports of the deployment of the DF-21 missiles brought India into a stupor in 2010 after the Pentagon’s report on the state of the Chinese armed forces. In particular, it was reported that China replaced the DF-4 missiles with DF-21 to improve regional deterrence. This message is contained in a section on Sino-Indian relations, and was picked up by the Press Trust of India, which mistakenly reported that the Pentagon report states that "China has moved the advanced CSS-5 long-range missiles [DF-21] close to the borders with India. The Times of India even wrote that the missiles were deployed "on the border" with India.

Not surprisingly, inaccurate information triggered dramatic articles in India, including rumors that the Command of the Indian Strategic Forces was considering retaliation or had already transferred missile units capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the north of the border with China.

However, the Pentagon’s report says nothing about moving the DF-21 missiles “closer to” or “to” the Indian border. Here is the actual statement: “To increase regional deterrence, the PLA replaced the old CSS-3 medium-range liquid-fuel ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads with the more advanced and survivable CSS-5 solid-fuel missiles ...” The report echoes the 2009 report for the year: “People the liberation army replaced the outdated CSS-3 medium-range liquid-fuel ballistic missiles (DF-4 BRSD) capable of carrying nuclear warheads with more modern solid-fuel missiles CSS-5 MBR in Western China. "

The report merely described the obvious, almost complete, two-decade-long replacement of DF-4 missiles by DF-21 missiles by China, probably at two army support bases in Hunan and Qinghai provinces. Both deployment areas are located more than 1500 kilometers from the Indian border.

Range confusion
The non-secret range of the Chinese DF-21 missiles, published by the US intelligence community, is at least 1770 km for two nuclear versions (DF-21, CSS-5 Mod1 and DF-21A, CSS-5 Mod2). The DF-21A seems to have an increased range of 2150 km. The “regular” DF-21C has a maximum range of 1770 km, and yet the undeveloped anti-ship short-range missile DF-21D has a range of more than 1450 km. Private publishing often gives DF-21D a much longer range (CSBA - 2150 km; and Wikipedia - 3000 km).

The distance maps of these missiles are also misleading, because they measure the range from the Chinese border, as if the launchers were deployed there, and not by actual deployment far from the border. The 2008 report of the year, for example, includes a map essentially showing the borders of China, extended outwards and painted in different colors, according to the missile's range. As a result, the DF-21 received a range of about 3000 km, if measured from the actual location.

The 2010 report of the year is even worse because it shows the range of missiles without a contour in the form of circles, and is measured from the most extreme point of the border. The result is a map that is even more misleading, representing the DF-21 range in whole 3500 km from the actual location. The actual range is maximum 2150 km for DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod 2) and 1770 km for DF-21C.

Although the DF-21 launcher theoretically can travel all the way to the border to launch, the reality is, however, that the DF-21 patrol and patrol areas are far from the borders in order to protect fragile mobile complexes from air attack. Maps must reflect this reality.

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  1. dimarm74
    dimarm74 5 December 2011 07: 11
    Amerikosy India and China want to embroil .... definitely .... Now there will be a stuffing of any information .... to pit them ....
    1. tronin.maxim
      tronin.maxim 5 December 2011 07: 20
      Americans add fuel to the fire + adding information war.
    2. Vadivak
      Vadivak 5 December 2011 08: 54
      Quote: dimarm74
      Amerikosy India and China want to argue ..

      This quarrel is not one hundred years old, but it is profitable for Americans to warm their hands on arms deliveries to India

      In China, there is a slogan - Tibet - an integral part of China. Quote from Chinese calendars - “Since ancient times, Tibet has been an integral part of China. Even before our era, people living in Tibet already had ties with people of Han nationality who lived in Central China. Although China has long been in decline and the emergence of many dynasties and its central authority has been replaced more than once, but Tibet has always been under the control of the central government of China. ”

      In India, of course they disagree.
    3. Artemka
      Artemka 5 December 2011 14: 34
      It’s clear, after all, America can’t cope with both of them, and it’s bad to get her hands dirty.
  2. vadimus
    vadimus 5 December 2011 07: 22
    Yusam is stupid to us where the war will be. The bank has money ... How many ordinary people are there? So they fucked them ... Here I am not very complicated, In which case, I will not take prisoner ...
  3. L. konstantin
    L. konstantin 5 December 2011 08: 41
    And so our vaunted poplars are probed! all routes and locations are known! but they could not track the train! No wonder he got into START.
    1. Vadivak
      Vadivak 5 December 2011 09: 12
      Quote: L. Konstantin
      but they could not track the train

      The BZHRK had a drawback - three diesel locomotives and track wear in peacetime, and of course the thing is strong, mobility is super up to 1 km. Americans couldn’t detect him for a long time,
      1. Andrey77
        Andrey77 6 December 2011 11: 44
        We were driven by one two-section 2M62. If you run it on the P43 - yes, but the "BAM" P-75 does not break.
    2. WOW
      WOW 5 December 2011 10: 19
      You should not consider dudes from the Strategic Missile Forces dumber than yourself.
      In your style: the same vaunted American satellites are probed! All trajectories and flight times are known! but PGRK therefore they cannot track! set of events masquerade! it’s not in vain that they are crushing bricks from PGRK in strategic offensive arms!

      For very stubborn, I inform you: the placement of Yars on the BZHRK was considered in acc. NIRE, but it was deemed inappropriate, because with the same survival in a preemptive strike, the cost would have reached heaven, which Solomon specifically reported for the journalist and militant shkolota in an interview.

      What, your mother by the leg, want to undermine the already unstable economy of the Russian Federation? It is good that such "specialists do not sit in the leadership of our country."
    3. mar.tira
      mar.tira 5 December 2011 11: 53
      I do not agree with you Konstantin! The PGRK is just much more difficult to track than the BZHRK. The route is constantly changing. And in which direction it is also unknown. There are many roads. There is a column of equipment of 5-6 pieces completely covered with tarpaulin. And only in one or two charges. And there are 3 such columns, within a radius of 100-200 km. The movement is constant and chaotic. The satellite saw, transmitted, and there are no cars there, and when the convoy goes it is accompanied by a powerful electronic warfare system. And the time is selected when there is no satellite. And the launch can be carried out both stationary and on the go. By accident, under the START treaty with Gorbachev, it was the first to fall under PGRK reductions back in 1986, with the most powerful missiles. In general, all this is in the article.
    4. Andrey77
      Andrey77 6 December 2011 12: 00
      You can stand in the sorting park for weeks ... :)
  4. datur
    datur 5 December 2011 13: 36
    and black camouflage that would be better visible from the satellite? wink
    1. BYRY
      BYRY 6 December 2011 14: 47
      And I liked it better: a commercial satellite. Afiget, they have spies on a commercial basis.
  5. snek
    snek 5 December 2011 14: 09
    But just recently I heard somewhere that we are the only country with mobile ground missile systems. Journalists lag behind life.
  6. Cardamom
    Cardamom 5 December 2011 14: 15
    Gentlemen, China has traditionally supported Pakistan, and India is the unimaginable enemy of Pakistan. Accordingly, Indians consider any movements of China as potentially aggressive. In addition, the populations of India and China are almost equal, and although the military potential of the Chinese is higher today, the Indians are actively arming themselves, including with Russian weapons. There is a clear picture of the regional confrontation, which can subsequently develop into a real war.
  7. sedoj
    sedoj 6 December 2011 00: 35
    Or maybe that's why they camouflaged it in black, so that it could be better seen from space. We made models and ride in a circle. And they themselves rebuild real sites at night in another place. "Kitty-kitty stuck." Does anyone remember?
  8. Nechai
    Nechai 6 December 2011 03: 07
    PGRK - good, BZHRK - good, and An-124 "Ruslan" - better.
    China is the largest US lender. And such ..... and preferably not with their own rings ...
  9. dred
    dred 12 December 2011 17: 23
    quiet people.
  10. bistrov.
    bistrov. 23 December 2011 12: 54
    Each type of rocket technology has its own advantages. For example, missiles of the mine version have good protection, are in constant combat readiness and are intended for immediate nuclear strike as soon as the launch of missiles of a potential enemy is detected. Mobile strategic missiles, BZHRK, strategic bombers, SSBNs, since their starting positions are much more difficult to detect, are the blow of the second wave, the last nail in the coffin of the aggressor, so different options are chosen that mobile systems make it possible to quickly redirect the enemy’s surviving objects and destroy them. Most of the missiles will be unambiguously destroyed by missile defense.