Thursday 19 June 2008


Nuclear power contributes about 2 per cent of the current electricity generation in India.
At present, India is producing 3,300 MW. In 2020, the production would be 7,000 MW. According to the Planning Commission and the Prime Minister, the capacity of nuclear power would be 20,000 MW in 2020. In order to get there India will buy second-hand reactors from the US to produce 13,000 MW of nuclear power. India will have to spend about Rs 2 lakh crore for reactors and another Rs 8 lakh crore to set them up with fuel facilities to achieve that goal. The Indian budget is only Rs 6.5 lakh crore per year.
Thus, India will spend two times more than the country’s annual budget on setting up these vintage reactors only. Even if India were to achieve a 50 per cent increase in nuclear power generation (which is unlikely) such a step would only increase India’s overall electricity output by one per cent at most, and would only increase India’s overall energy output by a fraction of one per cent. The reason, the US is pushing so hard that India should accept the deal, is, that this deal is nothing but Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in a different name. India so far has refused to sign the NPT as it would not allow India to develop or keep nuclear weapons but allow India to import civilian nuclear reactors, which would be under the safeguards of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority).
India is not a “pariah” in the world regarding nuclear energy. Since 1974, despite of the western sanction, India has received every nuclear technology, and materials including nuclear power plants, fast breeder reactors, reprocessing and enrichment plants and heavy water plants from the Soviet Union and later Russia. As a result, India is self-sufficient in nuclear technology and can produce nuclear weapons despite all the efforts of the US to stop it.
Only for the last two years, because of its membership of the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group), Russia now wants to supply nuclear power plants with safeguard; so that the plants cannot be used to produce any nuclear weapons. However, at the same time, it has offered offshore nuclear plants to India, which would be without any restrictions. India can have both or either of the on-shore or offshore nuclear power plants from Russia even without 123 Treaty with the US.
Already the US senate has imposed a new clause in the Hyde Act that in future US organisations would make sure India will not be able to gain any advantage to use its nuclear facilities to create nuclear weapons. Section 104(d) (2) of the Hyde Act stipulates that transfers to India cannot begin without these suitable changes in NSG guidelines.
Also there are provisions in the legislation, which would put a cap on fissile material production. The US will not give India the right to reprocess spent fuel. About 90 per cent of all nuclear facilities, including the Russian built fast breeder reactors, which can also produce plutonium for both its fuel and nuclear weapons, will be included in the civilian sector.
India for the military part of the nuclear sector will not be able to import technology or materials from any of the countries of the NSG, including Russia. Thus, India’s nuclear weapons programme will disappear. This is the real aim of the Indo-US treaty.
India decided on a three-stage nuclear programme back in the 50’s, when the nuclear power generation programme was set up. In the final stage, the Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) will use thorium and produce uranium-233 for use in the third stage of these reactors.
FBRs can produce enough plutonium to be used as fuel in subsequent stages so as to make themselves self-sufficient. India began the construction of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) in 2005 with help from Russia. Russian built FBRs will be ready by 2009.
India has a large estimated thorium reserves of some 290,000 tonnes, it ranks second only to Australia. This would help India to bring independence from overseas uranium sources and India would be at liberty to produce as many nuclear weapons as it likes. However, according to the Indo-US Deal, India’s fast breeder reactors, which can utilise thorium to produce plutonium, would be under the control of the IAEA and the US authority and will not be allowed to produce plutonium.
Without the nuclear deal India can go ahead developing both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy using offshore nuclear plants offered by Russia. Russian atomic concern Rosenergoatom is constructing the world’s first floating nuclear station (PATES). This is based on the reactors that had been for decades used in Russian nuclear submarines and icebreakers. KLT-40C (the reactor of PATES) with 70 Mega Watt power is sufficient for supplying energy to a town with the population of 50 000 people.
India can certainly take advantage of this new technology, as the offshore nuclear plants in international water along India’s coastline would be outside the jurisdiction of either Nuclear Suppliers Group or the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. This is exactly what President Putin earlier has suggested but India was not interested. In the case of nuclear deal with the US also, India just like in 1991 and 1995 is accepting a subordinate position in relation to the US and the Western countries. The result will make Pakistan much stronger than India in the very near future. That serves the geo-political interest of the United States with Pakistan as the bridge to the Islamic world. The unfolding scenario will ruin India in the process when India will be forced to surrender also to the demands of Pakistan, a NATO ally of the US, and China, the most important business partner of the US corporations and on whom the fate of the US Dollar depends. This is the real issue, which Indian political establishment is ignoring.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

China expands influence through electronics

China expands influence through electronics
Facilities in the South China Sea reflect technologies otherwise hidden.

As with other maritime forces, China has been seeking to network disparate assets, and to meet that requirement, it has been establishing signal stations on islands and atolls throughout the South China Sea. These facilities, which range from communications relays to radar units, both demonstrate China's expanding regional reach and provide a rare glimpse of the country's military electronics technologies.
China has been actively expanding south from Hainan Island since 1974 when it seized the Paracel Islands from the Vietnamese, and its activities continued in the 1990s with construction on several Spratley Islands reefs. Locations of Chinese military electronics on the mainland are largely hidden, and any photographs are classified. But, facilities on the South China Sea islands and reefs place this technology out in the open.

Based on electronics and facilities observed, Woody Island in the Paracels and Fiery Cross Island in the Spratleys seem to be the main control links to China's South Fleet Guangzhou headquarters. Other armed Chinese islands or reefs are linked via satellite communications and radio to the local and fleet commanders. The electronics and combat systems of the Chinese aircraft, warships and paramilitary ships greatly augment the island-based electronics.

The only electronic systems directly off the south China coast are ones that involve offshore naval operations. A large over-the-horizon (OTH) backscatter (OTH-B) radar faces south near the southern coast of China. In the 1970s, the experimental OTH radar had a 2,300-meter antenna and could pick up surface ships at 250 kilometers. A series of technical papers describing a skyway OTH radar in the early 1990s leads to the conclusion that operational deployment would have been in that period.

The fact that Guangzhou is the headquarters of the South China Fleet indicates a major complex of tactical and strategic space and land-based communication and long-range radars in that area. They would be focused south into the South China Sea.

Radio beacon navigation-differential global positioning system (GPS), or RBN-DGPS, are located at the southern ports of Zhanjiang, Fangcheng and Luyu. DGPS manufactured by Communication Systems International can be accurate to within 5 to 10 meters with a 300-kilometer range. The vessel traffic service (VTS) is located at Zhanjiang. Western imported technology is an integral part of these electronic systems because the DGPS is Australian and VTS is from Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, New York.

Although appearing to be a tourist island of native tribes and small villages, Hainan Island features an embedded, but nearly invisible, strong military electronic infrastructure. The emergency landing of a U.S. Navy EP-3C at Lingshui airfield in 2001 was a peek into this. Mainland Chinese governments prior to World War II minimally touched Hainan, although there was a naval station at "Hoihow" (now Haikou) in the early 1900s. During the seven-year Japanese occupation in World War II, the island had an extensive military and industrial buildup. This included large coal and ore mines as well as the first railroads connecting to a new major Japanese submarine base at Yulin. Although today the locations of Hainan long-range air search sites are classified, Japan had sites at Yulin, Basuo and Haikou in 1944.

Work started in the late 1970s on three high-power radio navigation aids in south China, but they were not online until 1983. Modern RBN-DGPS navigation aids are located at Sanya, Haikou and Haifou. The VTS with radar and a computer tracking/control station are located on the west coast at Dong Fang (formerly Basuo) and in Haikou. The Haikou facility has one local and three remote dual X-band radars, a local and remote very high frequency (VHF) communication system and a remote VHP direction finder. This vessel traffic management system controls traffic in the Qiongzhou Channel between Hainan and the mainland. A digital GPS beacon station of 295 kilohertz was activated in 1999 at Sanya, and two more followed at Yangpu and Baohujiao.

Hainan certainly has one or more major electronics intelligence (ELINT) stations, but references are usually vague or disagree in details. Because of the continuing threat of conflict with Vietnam, a major ELINT site probably was built on mountaintops on southwest Hainan. The most detailed description available discusses a large facility at Lingshui air base on the southeast coast. This complex reportedly was established in 1968 and greatly expanded in 1995, with about 1,000 signal analysts located there. A large satellite downlink facility with an associated computer complex and links to Beijing is at Changcheng. It is allegedly a State Oceanographic Agency site for weather data connected to a Chinese weather outpost in Antarctica.

The first high-power low frequency (LF) station was built on Hainan in 1965. The large submarine base at Yulin, which is not on most maps anymore, has extensive communication links for the 3rd Submarine Flotilla headquarters. These include very low frequency (VLF) communications to submarines and surface ships in the South China Sea area. This may have been one of the first Chinese VLF stations, since construction activities had been reported from 1969 until 1982. Even navigation charts showing Yulin stated it was "closed to foreign commercial vessels" due to World War II mines in the approach.
The Paracel Islands were occupied by Vietnam until China seized them in occupation assaults supported by naval warships in 1974. A 1980s photograph of a naval base in the Paracels shows a huge multiantenna array of 16 yagi antennas aimed skyward. Each antenna consisted of 8 yagi cross arms. This probable VHF monstrous array is not described or named in open literature references. One publication with this illustration described it as a satellite communication antenna, while another stated it was a Moon early warning radar. The antenna appears similar to a smaller truck-mounted 400-megahertz wind-tracking yagi radar designated Type 701 by China. This may be a meteorological weather antenna that is located on Woody Island.
Woody Island is a classic example of how a crude outpost can grow over time into a significant threat equivalent to an unsinkable aircraft carrier. A helicopter landing pad was built within one year, and this would have required ground-to-air links-probably the Ote Alenia imported radios used throughout China. In 1990, China constructed a 1,200-foot runway on Woody Island that was suitable for jet fighter aircraft. In 1998, the runway was extended to 7,300 feet and finally to 8,100 feet in 1990 for heavier aircraft such as H-6 bombers or large transports for resupply. This requires the Chinese Type 791 X-band precision approach radar (PAR), which is based on the old Soviet Two Spot RSP-7. It has a 20-degree-azimuth and six-degree-elevation antenna beam pattern and a cone-shape antenna for VHF and ultrahigh frequency (UHF) air communications. A larger pier and airplane hangers augmented the island's single jetty, and fuel storage has been added.

In June 2001, HY-2 antiship cruise missiles appeared. They would require a long-range surface-search radar to detect surface ship targets. In mid-1995, a new signals intelligence (SIGlNT) station entered service on Rocky Island, which is near Woody Island. This station could support air or surface warning for air missions or ship targeting, especially because Rocky Island has the highest peak in the Paracel Islands.

The largest island in the Paracels is Pattle Island, which had a weather station when Vietnam lost it in 1974. The port facilities on Duncan Island, the second largest island, are being enlarged, which would indicate increased military construction and electronic equipment. Drummond Island, the site of a naval battle in 1974, is not known to have any buildings or electronic equipment.

The only radio beacon south of Hainan is at Robert Island, which is only 500 meters long. There are no modern DGPS navigation beacons in the Paracels, so this must be an older type installed in the late 1970s.

Another disputed island group claimed by China is the Spratley Islands. Popular opinion tends to state that the Spratley Islands largely were uninhabited until the recent construction. In fact, during World War II, Japan built bases on Danger Reef, Tizard Bank and Namyit Island, which are occupied by Vietnam and the Philippines today.
In the 1980s, cruises in the Spratleys by nonmilitary fishermen and later ocean research ships soon were followed by Chinese warship visits. In 1988-1989, several dozen Chinese warships conducted large naval exercises coinciding with occupation of reefs in the Spratleys. In November 1990, China completed a lengthy hydrological survey with "research" ships in the Spratleys. In the 1990s, construction began on crude huts and octagonal wooden structures on wooden pilings. These were called "typhoon shelters for fishermen" by the Beijing government.
In 1995, China built its first structures on one point of the circular Mischief Reef. In October 1998, these were expanded with three additional clusters of more octagonal wooden structures. Each cluster of structures has a 2.5-meter satellite communication dish aimed skyward. The northern and southern clusters had two-story cement buildings constructed, which resembled forts with the usual satellite communication and high frequency (HF) whip antennas. The southern building was about 36 meters long, and the northern building was 122 meters long. Two years later, major electronic and weapon emplacements were added to the smaller northern building. Additional piers, a helicopter pad and several antiaircraft guns were added along with an unidentified missile weapon system. The new weapon system could be HY-2 or newer C-801 anti-surface-ship cruise missiles. A white rectangular antenna was placed on top of the building control tower. It resembles a navy navigation radar, which would have a range of about 25 miles around the semi-submerged "island." It could be an imported Racal Decca 1290 Arpa radar or a Chinese Model 756 navigation radar with a dual X-band and S-band antenna.

After civilian and scientific vessels reconnoitered the area in October 1987, China seized Fiery Cross Island in March 1988. It sits in the eastern Spratleys deep in Philippine waters. A photo of a 200-foot-long cement building on Fiery Cross Island shows a standard naval HF yagi radar antenna based on the Soviet Knife Rest. The Chinese copy, designated Bean Sticks, operates in the 70- to 73-megahertz frequencies with a range of about 180 kilometers.

Two other small electronic countermeasures (ECM) radomes on the building appear similar to the RWS-1 mounted on navy destroyers. Land-based ECM domes such as these are not identified in references. Several whip communication antennas and taller mast antennas also are on the roof.

Chinese radios may be connected to different antennas for different needs. For example, R-series HF radios use a 4-meter whip for up to 25-kilometer communications, and they use an 11-meter mast for ranges out to 40 kilometers. A long wire runs from a mast on one end of the building to the ground, which would be an HF long-line radio antenna. A probable radio would be the large 73-kilogram SR 109 synthesized receiver with a band from 10 kilohertz to 30 megahertz. It is suitable for radio signal surveillance and long-range distance communications. In addition to two roof-mounted 2.5-meter satellite communications dishes, there is a large 4-meter dish mounted on a large pedestal. This probably is a meteorological weather antenna.
On Johnson South Reef, four octagonal huts initially were built on wooden pilings. By 1989 there were two round cement towers on the ends of a two-story white rectangular building on a cement base. At one end is a 2.5-meter satellite communications antenna adjacent to an 8-foot mast antenna, with two more tall mast antennas on the roof. Chigua Island has an identical building structure with a wooden barracks adding greatly increased manning space. Subi Reef in 1997 had the typical wooden barracks structure and a two-story building with one satellite communications antenna. Two unusual features are a huge round helicopter landing pad and a sturdy cement bridge with cement arches connecting it to the headquarters building. These are both unique to Subi Reef.Most of the Chinese outposts have a small tower on top of the two-story cement buildings that are the electronics centers for communications, ELINT and radars. This would be where the duty officer would stand watches. Many of these complexes retain small wooden huts on the end of jetties, which would be a good location for noisy power generators and hazardous toxic materials like fuel barrels for the power sources. Most outposts have helicopter landing pads and small- to medium-size piers to receive personnel or logistic supplies via ships.

On the far western edge of the South China Sea is a Chinese electronic activity aimed at India. In 1992, construction began on a SIGINT station on Coco Island near the Indian navy's large base on Andaman Island.

Observing Chinese Theories of Naval Warfare

If Chinese offensive mining is a concern, the U.S. Navy isn't saying much about it. For example, the Office of Naval Intelligence report, China's Navy (2007), mentions mines 14 times and submarines more than 150 times; the Department of Defense report to Congress, Military Power of the People's Republic of China (2007), similarly mentions mines only twice, while submarines are discussed in 25 places.

Significantly, a recent joint publication of the U.S. Naval Institute and the Naval War College, entitled China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force (2007), in 384 pages of text, has only one passing reference to mines plus a relevant paragraph with the significant heading, "Possible Sale of Russian Mobile Sea Mines to China." Similarly, numerous articles in Proceedings, the Naval War College Review, and other professional publications address the Chinese submarine threat, but China's use of mines is rarely mentioned.

Before we go forward, lets take a look at the professional writings he is discussing here.

Office of Naval Intelligence: China's Navy 2007
Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2007
China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force (2007)

The last one is a tough one. We note the authors of that publication are the primary sources for what we do know about PLAN thinking behind Mine Warfare. Dr. Andrew Erickson, Ph.D., Lyle Goldstein, Ph.D., & William Murray authored an excellent article in Undersea Warfare Magazine Winter 2007, an article we have previously covered, that ironically Norman Palmor goes on to praise at the end of his article. The same authors of that article also contributed an outstanding article in the Winter 08 NWC Review, another article we have previously discussed, that studies Chinese naval theory and literature for tactical and strategic planning.

We find the publications of these men, and not the official publications we are seeing from the Defense establishment, have come to represent the premier sources for PLAN activities for open source naval analysis. What is interesting is that when one studies their work in a strategic context, beyond the tactical analysis of how the Chinese think X platform can do Y, an interesting picture emerges.

Dr. Andrew Erickson, who is an Assistant Professor of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the Naval War College, gave testimony last year before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, and his comments are worth noting.

We have recently completed a two-year-long study of over 1000 Chinese language articles concerning naval mine warfare (MIW). Our three most important findings are: (1) China has a large inventory of naval mines, many of which are obsolete but still deadly, and somewhat more limited numbers of sophisticated modern mines, some of which are optimized to destroy enemy submarines. (2) We think that China would rely heavily on offensive mining in any Taiwan scenario. (3) If China were able to employ these mines, (and we think that they could), it would greatly hinder operations, for an extended time, in waters where the mines were thought to have been laid. The obvious means of employing mines are through submarines and surface ships. Use of civilian assets should not be discounted. But we also see signs of Chinese recognition of the fact that aircraft offer the best means of quickly laying mines in significant quantity. These aircraft would be useless, however, without air superiority.

He goes on to comment on the Houbei class in his testimony.

Additionally, the Houbei class, or 2208, wave piercing catamarans (based on an Australian ferry design) are an impressive anti-surface weapons system, employing high speed (perhaps 45 knots or so), low observability, and two or four advanced cruise missiles. China is building dozens of these vessels at many shipyards.

Note two or four. Sounds a lot like 2 YJ-62 or 4 YJ-83. Did he confirm what many analysts have been guessing? Perhaps. He goes on to note what other analysts have also noted about the Type 022s, China is building a bunch of them. As you begin to take account of where the PLAN is focusing its forces, we believe a picture emerges that should sound familiar to US naval observers.

China is building large numbers, many believe at least 100, of small, fast missile attack craft. China is building large numbers of quiet, well armed, moderately sophisticated conventional submarines. How many pictures where in one frame multiple conventional PLAN submarines can be seen? Probably several, we posted one we found in 10 seconds in this blog entry. China trains tactics that involve multiple submarines, what we used to call "wolf packs" once upon a time.

China has a large and active mine laying, mine sweeping, and mine command force structure, recently displayed in well represented numbers on Chinese New Year. China is building a sophisticated, complex and redundant series of communication and electronic military stations throughout its area of influence, including along its coast line. China is building a large number of ballistic missiles, and is working on guidance systems for targeting ships (note: precision weapons). China is investing heavily into unmanned aircraft of various types, for various roles, and of various sizes.

Broken down to the basics, China is developing a large force of inexpensive platforms under, on, and above the surface for precision engagement within a battle force network. There is a specific name for that theory of war, and if he were here today, we believe Admiral Cebrowski would recognize it instantly.

Has China adopted "Streetfighter" as its regional anti-access and warfighter strategy at sea? We observe the adaptation to include mine warfare and ballistic missiles, but otherwise it very much looks like Cebrowski's concept. We look at "Streetfighter" as a theory of war centered around the forces that support the battle line. Note we did not mentioned nuclear submarines, frigates, destroyers, amphibious ships, or aircraft carriers; the battle line forces that dominate the US Defense establishments official publications regarding PLAN analysis. We observe SunTzu would have wanted it that way.

New Questions About U.S. Intelligence on China

As part of ongoing research on Chinese military space programs, analyzed the March 2007 report Challenges to U.S. Space Superiority by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). While this report makes few specific claims about the capabilities of particular countries, it highlights a quote about Chinese anti-satellite development attributed to someone at a Chinese military facility.
By locating the original Chinese-language source of this quote,and found that it does not represent an authoritative source on Chinese military space activities. Worse, an examination of the original Chinese shows that the quote is mistranslated in ways that significantly change its meaning.
In its recently released 2005 annual report The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) states that China “plans to field” anti-satellite (ASAT) systems. The report offers no evidence to support this assertion, which is noteworthy if true since it appears to be inconsistent with China’s longstanding diplomatic effort to begin negotiations on a new international arms control agreement that would ban attacks on satellites.
However, previous DoD claims about Chinese ASAT systems have been called into question. The 2003 and 2004 DoD Chinese Military Power reports referred to an advanced Chinese ASAT system called a “parasitic microsatellite” that had reportedly been “ground tested” and was ready for space-testing. The Union of Concerned Scientists challenged this assertion in an August 2004 analysis of the source of this claim, which showed that the original source was not credible. The 2005 DoD report is more circumspect about Chinese capabilities, and has withdrawn the claim about the “parasite satellite,” but it continues to state that China intends to deploy ASAT systems.

What is the basis of this claim? As noted above, the 2005 DoD report does not provide evidence or a source. A possible source is the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. NASIC’s website states that it is “The sole national center for integrated intelligence on aerospace systems, forces, and threats.”
NASIC released a report entitled Challenges to U.S. Space Superiority in March 2005,5 which was during the time the DoD report was being prepared. A close evaluation of information in this report raises questions about the quality of the analysis NASIC provides, and more generally about the sources of information on which the DoD relies for its assessments of Chinese military capabilities.
Our intent is not to consider the issue of whether or not China is developing or fielding ASAT weapons, but to gain insight into the quality of U.S. intelligence on this issue.
Analysis of the March 2007 NASIC Report
The NASIC report discusses current uses of space and potential threats to U.S. space assets, but makes few specific claims about the capabilities of various countries.
However, the report highlights its concern about anti-satellite threats by including a quote—which is emphasized by being set off from the text in a box—by an official at a Chinese military facility. Its inclusion suggests that it was seen as an important quote that accurately reflects Chinese intentions regarding ASATs.
Although the NASIC report does not give a reference for the quote, we conducted a search of Chinese periodical databases and found the Chinese-language article from which it was taken. As we discuss in more detail below, it was written by Liying Zhang (not Zhan, as the NASIC report states) and two colleagues. Zhang was a junior instructor at the Langfang Army Missile Academy, which was closed in July 2004. Its primary responsibility was providing live-fire and simulated training for junior Chinese artillery officers. The article is far from an authoritative source on China’s military space program. More seriously, an examination of the original Chinese sentence shows that NASIC mistranslated the quote in ways that significantly change its meaning.
Considering the accuracy of this quote is interesting since it is the most specific claim the NASIC report presents about Chinese intentions regarding ASATs.
The quote in question appears on page 21 of the NASIC report. NASIC’s translation clearly states that China is actively developing anti-satellite weapons:
“China will monitor closely foreign developments in advanced satellite technology, paying close attention to progress made in military use of space while actively developing ASAT systems.” - Liying Zhan, Langfang Army Missile Academy

The quote is taken from the final sentence of the original Chinese article; a more accurate translation of the original is:
“While properly following foreign satellite advanced technology, (China) also should actively develop anti-satellite weapons and pay close attention to the progress of international space arms control, in order to facilitate the timely determination of a response.”
The NASIC translation makes several important errors. The first is rendering the Chinese word ying as “will” instead of “should.” Zhang et al. use this sentence to close their essay with a recommendation about what China should do, not a statement of what China intends to do or is currently doing. This is an important distinction. The original text makes clear that the authors believe China has not yet made a decision about proceeding with anti-satellite weapons, and they therefore make a recommendation about China’s course of action..
The authors seem to be stating their view that China is currently following developments in foreign satellite technology, and that while it is proper for China to be following these developments, they believe China should also be actively developing anti-satellite weapons. The word jiji, which NASIC properly translates as “actively,” also has the meaning of energetically or vigorously, which suggests the authors feel China needs to do more than it is at present. This is very different than the meaning implied by the NASIC version of the quote.
The second translation error is the most disturbing. NASIC translates the phrase junbei kongzhi as “military use of space” when it should be translated as “arms control.” It is difficult to imagine how anyone familiar with these issues could make such a mistake.
The result is to completely obscure the Chinese authors’ intention, which is to recommend that China should factor developments in international arms control into its decision of how to respond to the escalating competition in military space technology that is described in the body of their article. NASIC compounds this error by omitting the final phrase “to facilitate the timely determination of a response,” which makes clear that the authors are saying that China has not yet made a decision about whether to respond by fielding ASATs. Moreover, it makes clear that Zhang et al. believe that China’s policy toward anti-satellite weapons should depend not only on new technologies, but also on the state of international arms control negotiations (China and Russia have proposed an international agreement at the Conference on Disarmament that would prohibit attacks on satellites). The authors seem to be advocating a hedging strategy, recommending that China should have anti-satellite weapons ready if the diplomatic effort to protect their space assets fails.
While there may be ambiguities in the meaning intended by the Chinese authors, NASIC’s translation of this quotation completely changes its meaning. As noted above, since this is the
most specific claim presented about Chinese intentions regarding ASATs in the NASIC report, the accuracy of this quote is important.
The inclusion of this quote in the NASIC report implies that the authors of the NASIC report either:
• are unable to translate Chinese competently and are unable to evaluate the quality of its sources, or are not interested in doing so;
• used a translation of the quote supplied by someone else and did not check it for accuracy or relevance; or
• were aware that the quote was mistranslated in a way that completely altered its meaning, and decided to use it anyway.
All of these possibilities are clearly problematic given the need for accurate intelligence information. It is important to determine whether this a case of poor scholarship, or making a quote fit a particular point of view.
Moreover, it is important to understand what this case may imply about about the quality of U.S. intelligence on China more generally.
The Department of Defense, the U.S. Congress, and the American public are justifiably interested in the progress of China’s military space program. They deserve high-quality intelligence information, which is necessary for making good policy decisions.
While public versions of intelligence reports typically reveal little information about their sources, with the result that those sources and claims are difficult to evaluate, two sources that we have been able to identify and analyze in the past two years have revealed serious problems in the intelligence reports. Our analyses have shown a failure of U.S. intelligence analysts to properly evaluate Chinese sources, and to properly translate and understand these sources. We do not know how widespread these problems are. But these examples indicate inadequacies in the nation’s intelligence that should be addressed immediately.
Identifying the Source of the Quote
Because the NASIC report does not provide a citation for the quotation about Chinese ASATs, we conducted a full-text search of eight major Chinese periodical databases containing over twenty-three million articles. The search returned 182 publications by authors from the Langfang Army Missile Academy, but none under the surname Zhan. There were, however, six publications by an instructor named Liying Zhang. Since the name “Zhan” is used twice in the NASIC report it does not appear to be a typographical error. Instead, the NASIC translator’s use of “Zhan” is a probably an incorrect Romanization of Ms. Zhang’s surname.
It is worth noting that the Langfang Army Missile Academy was closed in July 2004, by a decision of the Central Military Commission. It was a small institute whose primary responsibility was providing live-fire and simulated training for junior Chinese artillery
officers. Most of these training missions were dispersed to other military facilities and a new branch of the PLA Artillery Command College was established on the old Langfang campus.9 There is no indication that Langfang was an important research or development center for Chinese military aerospace programs at the time the article was written; indeed, the Zhang article is the only article on anti-satellite weapons written by an author from Langfang that we were able to discover in our extensive searches.
Ms. Zhang was a junior faculty member in the Ground-to-Ground Missile Control Testing Engineering Teaching and Research Office at Langfang. None of the articles under her name have passages that correspond exactly to the sentence translated by NASIC, but one article, entitled “A Rudimentary Analysis of Anti-Satellite Weapons Technology and Defensive Measures,” published (in Chinese) in the journal Winged Missiles in March 2004 just before Langfang closed,10 is similar to the quotation contained in the NASIC report. Because our extensive searches did not turn up other articles by this author on this subject, and because the phrases are so similar, we assume this is the article the NASIC report used. In addition to Ms. Zhang, this article has two coauthors, Professors Zhang Qixin and Wang Hui, both from the same office at Langfang.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Ohio sub a new twist on underwater warfare

ABOARD THE USS OHIO, SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN — Capt. Andy Hale has just worked out and is still in a sweaty T-shirt and shorts as he stands in the battle command center. He watches a flat screen display that shows what’s happening outside on the bow and the aft.

His billion-dollar submarine — the Navy’s newest twist on underwater warfare — is hovering just below the surface off the Pacific island of Guam as a submersible disappears into the dark waters, carrying a team of commandos.

The Ohio is the first of a new class of submarine created in a conversion from 1970s vessels by trading nuclear-tipped ICBMs for conventional cruise missiles and a contingent of commandos ready to be launched onto virtually any shore through reworked missile tubes — against conventional forces or terrorists.

The sub’s cruise across the Pacific comes as China builds its submarine fleet into the region’s largest as part of the bulking up of its military. The voyage is the Ohio’s first deployment since the makeover, and Hale is in the odd position of showing the ship off.

It’s odd because the sub is all about stealth.

Hale can’t talk about where the ship is going. The aft end of the ship, where the nuclear power plant is located, is off limits. The leader of the SEAL commando contingent aboard can’t be named, and the commandos themselves can’t be photographed in any way that shows their faces.

But, over the next few months, the Ohio will be making a very public statement, training intensively in some of the world’s most crowded and contested waters and joining in exercises with America’s Asian allies. Instead of hiding them, the Ohio will be showcasing its abilities to elude detection and operate too deeply and quickly to be tracked.

Then it will likely do what it does best — vanish.

“Submarines are the original stealth platform,” Hale told the Associated Press, the only news agency allowed on board. “Submarine forces have always viewed the Pacific as a very important strategic area ... it’s certainly grown in importance in the last 10 years.”

Just about every country with a coastline in Asia wants or has subs.

China, Japan, Australia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh and South and North Korea either now have or are planning to acquire them.

Most don’t pose much of a threat to the more advanced American fleet. But that is changing.

While Russia continues to be a factor, China now has the biggest submarine fleet in the region, with nearly 60. The U.S. has upped its presence in the Pacific, and now has more ships — and more subs — in this part of the world than in the Atlantic.

But they are still outnumbered.

“There are many challenges in the Pacific,” Hale said. “China is certainly one of them, but it is not the only one.”

China’s subs are mainly diesel-powered, meaning they must come up for air more frequently than U.S. nuclear-powered vessels, and their crews are not thought to be as well trained as American submariners, who spend several months at a time at sea.

China’s fleet is also highly focused on patrolling its own coastal waters and on dealing with potential hostilities over Taiwan, rather than with “projecting force,” or trying to control faraway shipping lanes.

But its long-term goals remain opaque.

In 2006, a Chinese sub shocked the Navy by surfacing within torpedo range of the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk near the Japanese island of Okinawa. Beijing claimed the sub was in international waters and was not “stalking” the carrier, which was taking part in a naval exercise.

The growing rivalry was underscored in November, when Beijing refused a scheduled port call by the Kitty Hawk’s battle group to Hong Kong, forcing thousands of sailors to spend Thanksgiving at sea. In January, however, China allowed a visit to the port by another U.S. Navy vessel.

Washington has repeatedly expressed concern that China is pouring money into expanding its forces. Beijing increased its military budget by nearly 18 percent to about $45 billion last year, the largest annual hike in more than a decade, and U.S. officials think actual spending is greater.

The Chinese, meanwhile, are closely watching to see how U.S. concern translates into changes in the U.S. Navy. When the Ohio, which is based in Bangor, Wash., docked at Guam last month, China’s official Xinhua news agency called the submarine a “warehouse of explosives” and a “devil of deterrence.”

“If the Ohio turns west from Guam, it would need only hours to travel to the coastal waters of many Asian nations,” it said. “The U.S. Navy believes the power of the cruise missile-armed nuclear submarine will be tremendous in a future war.”

That is exactly what the Navy wants China and others to think, and why the Ohio is in the Pacific.

“The advanced capabilities that we have brought to this ship make it a premier front-line submarine,” said the Ohio’s executive officer, Lt. Commander Al Ventura. “This has taken the submarine force to a whole new level.”

The Ohio has both vast firepower and the ability to deploy quickly to wherever it’s needed.

It has 24 launch tubes, 15 of which have been fitted for multiple Tomahawks — more than 100 in total. That’s more than were launched in the entire first Gulf War. From an offshore position in the Pacific, it could strike Pyongyang, North Korea. From the Indian Ocean, it could hit anywhere in Afghanistan.

The switch to conventional missiles is a concept borne of necessity.

Under a 1992 disarmament treaty, the Navy had to give up four of its 18 “boomers,” huge submarines that have for decades served as mobile launch platforms for long-range nuclear missiles and were primary players in the Cold War game of cat-and-mouse between Washington and Moscow.

Instead of scrapping the ships, however, the Navy converted them. The nuclear weapons were replaced with conventional Tomahawk guided missiles and several of the launch tubes refitted to deploy the Navy SEALs in submersible boats.

Because of the sheer size of the sub — it’s 560 feet long — it has more room for its 160-member crew and dozens of commandos than an attack submarine. While still cramped and claustrophobic, sailors have bigger beds and several places for working out, which the SEALs do constantly.

Among the SEALs, stealth remains a way of life.

In a wardroom just yards from the Tomahawk missile tubes, the head of the SEAL contingent agreed to be interviewed, but only if he wasn’t identified or photographed, lest he or his family be tracked down by terrorists, for whom killing a SEAL would be a major propaganda coup.

“We go places,” he said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”

While near Guam, the SEALs conducted operations simulating an undersea launch in their submersible and a landing to assess a fictitious terrorist threat. Guam was dubbed “Backwateria” and the terrorists called the “Al-Shakur.” The names of the terrorist leaders were taken from a popular TV cartoon.

The island could just as well have been Taiwan, or the shores of North Korea.

The SEAL commander said the simulations were not aimed at any particular country.

Still, he said, it’s not just idle training.

“This capability has been used before, and it will probably be used again,” he said.

China Proves LNG Carrier Ship Building Capability

China Proves LNG Carrier Ship Building Capability
Hudong-Zhong Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd at Shanghai, China has delivered the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Carrier ‘Dapeng Sun’ built in China. The LNG Carrier was delivered to China LNG Transportation Holding Co., So far only some shipyards in Japan, the Republic of Korea and some European nations have the capability to build special-purpose tankers. Now China has proved its capability to build LNG Carrier. The vessel has been built under an agreement between Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Aker Yards in France. The design and technical assistance throughout the entire construction and testing period was provided by Aker Yards.

The interesting features of Dapeng Sun are:

* construction of the first LNG carrier was started late in 2004
* 292 meters long and 43.35 wide
* has a capacity of 147,210 cubic meters (about 70,000 tons)
* costs US$160 million
* can cool down the gas to minus 163 degrees Celsius to allow it to be condensed to a liquid under pressure
* the ship is ABS classed and has a No.96 membrane containment system (under license of GTT).
* the ship will carry LNG from Australia to LNG receiving terminal at Guangdong Province, partly replacing the service now offered by foreign-flagged vessels

Dapeng Sun will commence her maiden voyage on April 10, to Australia to load LNG. Four more LNG Carriers are going to be built by the shipyard.

Defence Facilities

Under the 1990 National Defence Facilities Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), “defence facilities” include any buildings, sites, and equipments for military purposes. They include command & control posts, surface and underground command & control and operation facilities; military airfields, seaports and docks; barracks, training sites, and weapon test sites; military storage facilities and depots; military stations for communication, reconnaissance, and navigation; signs for survey, navigation, and flight assistance; military roads, railways; military communication and power cables; military fuel and water pipes; any other military facilities defined by the State Council and Central Military Commission.

Airbases. The PRC has developed an extensive network of airfield infrastructures across the country, with over 200 military airbases, 55 military-civil dual-use airports, and 147 civil airports. While many military airbases built in the Cold War-era have been transformed into civil or dual-use airports, the remaining airbases have been mostly upgraded, gaining soft unhardened hangers and hardened aircraft shelters. The number of civil airports in the PRC has been increasing drastically, increasing to 190 by 2010, and 244 by 2020.

Naval Bases. The PLA Navy has 15~20 major naval bases located in Qingdao, Zhoushan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Yulin, and Xisha, as well as some 300 minor facilities. The Jianggezhuang Submarine Base built in 1988 was claimed to be the largest naval base in East Asia. A new submarine base with underground facilities to house SSN and SSBN was finished in Sanya, Hainan Island in 2007.

Space Facilities. The PRC’s space launch and tracking infrastructure is the most extensive and well-developed in Asia, and it can compete with the United States and Russia in both quantity and quality. The space launch sites and space tracking, telemetry and control network built in the Cold War-era for missile testing have been subjected to extensive modernisation upgrade in the 1990s in order to support the country’s manned spaceflight programme. A new space launch centre in Hainan Island is expected to be completed by 2012.

Nuclear Facilities. Although the PRC has stopped all nuclear weapon tests, most of its nuclear facilities are still operational to support the country’s nuclear power station projects.

China-made frigate to head for Pakistan on lastMonday

China-made frigate to head for Pakistan on lastMonday
The first of four F-22P frigates ordered by the Pakistan Navy from China three years ago will be launched on Monday from a Shanghai shipyard.
According to a China Daily report, the deal marks the navy’s first purchase of a major fighting unit from China.
In the past, it procured such military hardware from Western countries, including Britain and France.
Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir, who will attend the launch ceremony, said the frigates will “form a very important component” of the country’s surface fleet.
“They will be deployed for the defense of our maritime interests and to meet our commitments in other aspects of maritime diplomacy,” he said yesterday in Beijing, adding the shift from West to East displays the navy’s confidence in Chinese industry.
As well as the four frigates, the deal will include the transfer of Chinese naval shipbuilding technology to its neighbor, as the last vessel is expected to be finished at a shipyard in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2013, under an agreement signed in April 2005.
This will be “a catalyst” for cooperation on the construction of vessels. It will enhance Pakistan’s capabilities in shipbuilding and also the Karachi shipyard’s capabilities in managing the construction of a large warship,” Admiral Tahir said.
Beijing and Islamabad have always enjoyed sound military cooperation, and last March, the PLA navy took part in its first-ever multilateral naval exercise AMAN-07 in Karachi.
On Thursday, Admiral Tahir met with China’s Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie, with whom he spoke of deepening exchanges and cooperation between the defense departments and armed forces of the two countries. (ANI)

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Analysis: China's nuke warhead stockpile

China's stockpile of nuclear warheads has increased sharply, with more DF-31A and JL-2 long-range strategic ballistic missiles entering service, giving it preliminary capability to engage in three-dimensional nuclear strikes upon opponent targets.

The changes in the Chinese nuclear capability started in 1995, before which the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Force was often teased as "a military service that needed an exit strategy." At that time, most of the soldiers serving in the PLASAF were doing little more than growing vegetables and raising pigs.

This miserable situation was the result of the aftershock of the large-scale nuclear disarmament by the United States and the Soviet Union. After 1995, however, with the increase in tensions across the Taiwan Strait, China began to refocus its attention on the development of nuclear capability so as to possess effective deterrence against possible U.S. military interference in the Taiwan Strait.

This marked the beginning of the transformation of the PLASAF from a force with balanced nuclear and conventional capability to one more focused on nuclear capability. In terms of technology, the PLASAF sped up the development of carrier vehicles for long-range strategic missiles, mainly the DF-31 and JL-2.

In addition, in order to make up the shortfall in its nuclear arsenal within a short period of time, China produced additional DF-5A intercontinental ballistic missiles and undertook to prolong the service life of its existing DF-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles and DF-4 long-range strategic missiles.

With the deployment of more ICBMs, the number of Chinese long-range strategic missile brigades has also increased. Meanwhile, at least two 094 ballistic missile submarines and one 092-M SSBN have entered service.

There are signs that the DF-4 long-range ballistic missile positions at Delinghayuan in the western province of Qinghai have been expanded. Straight highway lanes stretch for several hundred kilometers in the region, and some highway sections have been revamped and new preliminary missile positions have been constructed. This indicates that China will very likely start deploying more DF-31A highway-mobile ICBMs to replace the DF-4s.

The strategic missile brigades most likely to receive the DF-5 and DF-5A ICBMs include the No. 801 and No. 804 brigades. The No. 813 brigade is stationed at Nanyang in Henan province, a unit generally believed to be armed with DF-31 ICBMs. In addition, the No. 809 and No. 812 brigades stationed in Qinghai are also armed with DF-4s, as well as the No. 803 and No. 805 brigades, stationed in Hunan.

Some of these DF-4 brigades may have started to receive DF-31A ICBMs. The positioning of DF-4s and DF-31As seem to be very close within the PLA Second Artillery Force, and both are called long-range strategic missiles, while the D-5 is called an ICBM. There is speculation that there is a No. 818 missile brigade armed with the DF-31, but this has not been confirmed by official sources. Because China currently does not have a sufficient quantity of ICBMs with a range above 10,000 kilometers (about 6,200 miles), efforts to upgrade and prolong the service life of its DF-5s are very likely to continue.

The increase of nuclear warheads within the PLA Second Artillery Force focuses on the strategic objective of deterring other major nuclear powers from attempting "nuclear blackmail" toward China. China has sufficient supplies of material for the production of nuclear warheads. It has very rich uranium resources, and its production of plutonium reserves has continued for a number of years. Western military observers generally believe China has enough nuclear material to produce 1,000 nuclear warheads.

Because the DF-31 ICBM and JL-2 SLBM use new types of carrier vehicles, China in recent years has been putting a lot of effort into the research and development of MIRVs -- multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. As a result, the DF-31 and JL-2 will be armed with new warheads, and some DF-5As and DF-5s may also become the platforms for these newly developed warheads. Western intelligence analysts generally believe that China now commands the technology to separate three warheads.

As for the number of ICBMs under each missile brigade, it is reasonable to assume that the Chinese and Russian ICBM brigades may both be armed with nine missile units. If that is the case, calculating on the basis of three DF-5/DF-5A brigades and four to five DF-4 brigades or DF-31A brigades, China would have approximately 63 to 72 ICBMs and long-range strategic missiles.

Among these missile brigades, if each of the missiles deployed at the three DF-5/5A missile brigades and at least two DF-31A brigades are armed with three warheads, there are in total 135 nuclear warheads. If the two to three DF-4 long-range strategic missile brigades are included, and each missile is armed with a single warhead, there are a total of 18-27 DF-4 warheads. So far, the DF-5 has always been armed with one warhead.

This means the total number of China's long-range nuclear warheads would be between 153 and 162. This is taking into consideration the fact that China has been steadily upgrading its long-range strategic missiles.

China's development of sea-based strategic nuclear capability is obviously aimed at acquiring strengths equivalent to that of the Second Artillery Force, giving China two-dimensional and effective strategic nuclear strike competence. As a result, the buildup of sea-based nuclear weapons has been quite fast-paced.

At present, two Type 094 SSBNs are fitted with 24 JL-2 long-range strategic missiles, totaling more than 72 nuclear warheads. Adding the warheads fitted on the 12 JL-1A IRBMs on Type 092M SSBNs, China is now supposed to have a total of 84 sea-based nuclear warheads. Thus, at the current stage, the overall number of China's sea-based and land-based nuclear warheads should be between 237 and 246.

The PLA navy's Type 094 SSBN fleet is going to continue expanding in the next five years, and the number of SLBMs will increase dramatically as a result. Even with only five Type 094 SSBNs, the total number of warheads will very likely reach 180. Including the warheads of the 12 JL-1A IRBMs, China should have 192 sea-based nuclear warheads within the next five years.

Furthermore, the pace of expansion of the DF-31A is going to speed up. Some Western media have claimed that China will deploy at least 50 DF-31As, bringing the number of China's new nuclear warheads to 150. And the design of a new-generation Type 096 SSBN has already begun. China Central Television earlier revealed images of an SSBN carrying 24 SLBMs, indicating the navy's newer-generation SSBN will be fitted with more nuclear warheads.

As to the explosive yield of these nuclear warheads, the earlier variants of DF-5 ICBM warheads may include 1 million-ton class nuclear bombs and hydrogen bombs. Judging from China's series of nuclear tests in the past, the maximum explosive yield of a PLASAF nuclear warhead could reach 1 million to 3 million tons. The new-generation DF-31A missiles are armed with MIRVs, and each warhead has an explosive yield of approximately 100,000 tons. China has so far developed a whole series of nuclear warheads with an explosive yield of 100,000 to 500,000 tons.

Nuclear Delivery System Modernization

Ballistic Missiles

Cruise Missiles

Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarines (SSBNs)

Bombers and Dual-Capable Aircraft

In addition to nuclear warhead modernization, China is actively modernizing its nuclear delivery systems which include ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and bombers. In particular, Chinese officials state the goal of deploying newer ballistic missiles is to provide China with a strategic nuclear force that is more reliable, survivable, and would bolster China's ability to deter the use of nuclear weapons against the mainland. The majority of China's existing delivery systems were designed in the 1960s and 1970s and have been in service for decades. In this sense, upgrading China's missile force can be seen as a natural evolution and modernization of China's previous capabilities.

China is modernizing all legs of its nuclear triad:

* ballistic and cruise missiles
* ballistic missile submarines
* strategic bombers


Missile Programs Under Development

The vast majority of China's nuclear-capable missile force is land-based, and much of China's nuclear delivery system modernization has been in this area. China has three ballistic missiles under development, the land-based DF-31 and the DF-41 and the sea launched version of the DF-31 known as the JL-2. The DF-31 and DF-41 were originally intended to replace China's aging DF-4 and DF-5 missiles. The DF-31 and DF-41 were both intended to be road-mobile, solid-fueled missiles and have shortened launch preparation times. Some reports say China had hoped to make both missiles MRV or MIRV-capable. In addition, "China could use a DF-31-type RV for a multiple-RV payload for the CSS-4 in a few years." The DF-31 and JL-2 will also likely employ GPS for improved accuracy. On 19 January 2000 Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov announced that Russia and China were close to reaching an agreement on the joint use of Russia's GLONASS satellite-based global positioning system. This would free China from using the US GPS system, which could be turned off by the US in time of war. [John Pomfret, "Russians Help China Modernize Its Arsenal," Washington Post, 10 February 2000, p. A17.]

DF-31 (under development): The DF-31, with a range of 8,000 km, was first tested on 2 August 1999, a second secret test was conducted between the third and fifth of November 2000 near the Wuzai missile and Space Center. The PLA tested the DF-31 for a third time on 12 December 2000. It is thought that the DF-31 will replace the DF-4. However, a 2000 National Intelligence Council report assessed that the DF-31 "will be targeted primarily against Russia and Asia." China may have started to build 10-20 DF-31s in 2000, and the U.S. Department of Defense predicts that the DF-31 will likely begin deployment in 2004 or 2005. [Sources: Seth Faison, "In Unusual Announcement, China Tells of a Missile Test, The New York Times, 3 August 1999; Robert Walpole, "The Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States," statement for the record to the Senate subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services, 9 February 2000; Jane's Defense Weekly, 20 December 2000, p. 5; Bill Gertz, China Runs 2nd Test of Long-Range Missile, The Washington Times, 12 December 2000, p. 1A; Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, July 12, 2002, p. 27.]

DF-41 (under development, possibly cancelled): The 2000 National Intelligence Council report also estimated that China would test a longer-range mobile ICBM, probably the DF-41, in the next several years. Originally, U.S. officials expected that China would build approximately 10 missiles, yet some sources indicate that the DF-41 program has been cancelled and the system is not mentioned in the Pentagon’s 2002 report on China’s military power. Even if the DF-41 program has been cancelled (possibly due to limitations in China’s ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads), China is expected to develop a new missile with a similar range (likely the DF-31) to replace the DF-5A. The DF-41 ICBM, with a range of 12,000 km, was intended to replace China's older DF-5(A) ICBM. These new missile systems were believed to use a new 200-300 kT warhead which is reportedly almost identical to the one currently deployed on the JL-1 and DF-21 systems. According to the Hong Kong Standard, China had already conducted laboratory simulations of the DF-41 in 1999. [SIPRI Yearbook 1995 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 378-379; Vipin Gupta, "The Status Of Chinese Nuclear Weapons Testing," Jane's Intelligence Review, January 1994, p. 31; Eric Arnett, ed., Nuclear Weapons After the Comprehensive Test Ban: Implications for Modernization and Proliferation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) p. 5; Pamela Pun, "Top Missile Passes Test Simulations," Hong Kong Standard, 15 October 1999. Duncan Lennow, "A Consistent Policy," Jane's Defense Weekly, 11 August 1999, p. 22.; Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, page 27.]

JL-2 (under development, not yet tested): China is also developing the Julang (JL)-2 missile, a sea-based version of the DF-31, but is not expected to test the JL-2 until after 2010. If four new SSBNs are built then it is possible that 70 to 80 JL-2 may be built. It is still unclear whether China will have a new ballistic missile submarine for these missiles. [Duncan Lennox, "A Consistent Policy," Jane's Defense Weekly, 11 August 1999, p. 22; Robert Walpole, "The Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States," statement for the record to the Senate subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services, 9 February 2000.]

Currently Deployed Missiles

DF-21/21A (CSS-5): In 2000, China tested a more advanced version of the DF-21, called the Mod 2. Although work is reportedly ongoing, the new model will have a greater range (3,000 km) and improved accuracy through the use of a global positioning system and a "radio-frequency explosive warhead" which is believed to be an electro-magnetic pulse warhead. Some foreign analysts question the need to deploy the DF-21 missiles. The basing and range of the DF-21 missiles constrain China to using these missiles to target non-nuclear weapons states, particularly “Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, or Vietnam, in addition to targets in the Russian Far East and India.” As Bates Gill, James Mulvenon, and Andrew Yang point out, “If it is true, as asserted by (John Wilson) Lewis and Xue (Litai), that China’s target sets for the DF-3 included U.S. bases in the Philippines and Japan, this also runs contrary to Chinese NSAs. The fact that the DF-3 and -4 series missiles are already capable of reaching Russian and Indian targets raises further questions as to the purpose of the DF-21 series in the context of Chinese NSAs.” Nevertheless, the July 2002 tests of the DF-21 Mod 2 included six or seven dummy warhead penetration aids, likely intended to defeat a missile defense system. [Sources: Bates Gill, James Mulvenon, Mark Stokes. “The Chinese Second Artillery Corps: Transition to Credible Deterrence,” in The People’s Liberation Army as an Organization: Reference Volume v1.0.” Ed: James C. Mulvenon, Andrew N.D. Yang. 2001. Page 516. Available at:]; John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai, China’s Strategic Seapower: The Politics of Force Modernization in the Nuclear Age, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994; and John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai, China Builds the Bomb, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988; “DF-21/CSS-5” in China Nuclear Forces Guide. November 2002. Available at:]

DF-25 (possibly cancelled): The DF-21 was supposed to have been replaced by the DF-25 which uses the first two stages of the DF-31 and JL-2. The DF-25 would have had a range of 1,700 km and would have carried a single warhead, but was reportedly halted in 1996. [Beaver, Paul, "China prepares to field new missile," Jane's Defense Weekly, 24 February 1999, p. 3. Duncan Lennow, "A Consistent Policy," Jane's Defense Weekly, 11 August 1999, p. 23.]

DF-5A (CSS-4): In addition to improving the quality of their ballistic missiles, China is also increasing the number of nuclear armed ballistic missiles. Press reports say that China increased its ICBM force by a third in the first four months of 1998 by building six additional DF-5A. The reports also say China plans to build two more missiles before closing its Wanyuan missile production facility, which would bring the total number of DF-5A to 26. It has also been reported that thirteen of the original 18 DF-5A had been targeted at the United States. The Wanyuan production facility, operated by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), is located approximately 30 miles south of Beijing and is responsible not only for the development of military missiles but also for the Long March 2 space booster. The Wanyuan facility will be moved to a site near Chengdu which will be closer to other defense related industries. The increase in China's nuclear arsenal is expected to continue. National Intelligence Officer Robert Walpole has stated, "By 2015, China will likely have tens of missiles targeted against the United States, having added a few tens of more survivable land- and sea-based mobile missile with smaller nuclear warheads." ["China adds 6 ICBMs to arsenal," The Washington Times, 21 July 1998, pp. A1, A14.; "Wanyuan Production Site Said to be Closing; China Expands ICBM Force," Centre of Defense and International Security Studies website, July 1998; Robert Walpole, "The Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States," statement for the record to the Senate subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services, 9 February 2000; Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, July 12, 2002, p. 3, 27.]

DF-3 (CSS-2): On 17 August 2001 US intelligence agencies reported that China conducted ground tests of its DF-3 (CSS-2) intermediate- range ballistic missile the week before. According to Air Force intelligence, China has deployed about 40 DF-3 refire- capable launchers at six launch complexes throughout China. With a range of between 1,860 and 2,480 miles, the DF-3 is China's primary nuclear missile targeted at Russia and India. The missile is currently being replaced by the newer DF-21/21A. [Bill Gertz, "Chinese Missile Testing," Washington Times, 08/17/01]

DF-4 (CSS-3): The DF-4 missiles were deployed beginning in 1980. The DF-4 will likely be replaced by the newer DF-31 missiles, but the Department of Defense predicts that China will try to retain its DF-4 missiles until 2010. [Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, July 12, 2002, p. 27.]

These developments aside, China has had problems with its ICBM development program. In January 2002, the Washington Times reported that China's military carried out a failed launch test of the re-entry vehicle for the DF-31. The launch took place on January 3, 2001 at 7:14 pm Beijing time (7:15 am EST). One US official stated: "It got off the ground, but there was a midflight explosion. They were testing a re-entry vehicle and used a space launcher [as the booster]. Obviously, this was a setback for them." The DF-31 is a intercontinental ballistic missile in the final stages of development. The DF-31 has been successfully flight-tested several times before. [Washington Times, January 4, 2001.]

For more on miniaturized warheads and MRV/MIRV capabilities, see [CHINA'S NUCLEAR WARHEAD MODERNIZATION]

Intelligence Reports of Chinese Modernization

According to the CIA and DIA, China is committed to the modernization and expansion of its ballistic missile force. In remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, DIA director Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes stated:

"China's strategic nuclear force is small and dated, and because of this, Beijing's top military priority is to strengthen and modernize its strategic nuclear deterrent. Numerous new missile systems are under development, along with upgrade programs for existing missiles, and for associated command, control, communications and other related strategic force capabilities. While the pace and extent of China's strategic modernization clearly indicates deterrent rather than 'first strike' intentions, the number of Chinese strategic missiles capable of hitting the United States will increase significantly during the next two decades." [Statement of the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Patrick M. Hughes before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Current and Projected National Security Threats, 2 February 1999.]

Speaking to the same committee, CIA director George Tenet, stated:

"China is increasing the size and survivability of its retaliatory nuclear missile force, even though it is unlikely to make the resource commitment needed to approach the force levels of either the United States or Russia."[Statement of the Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Current and Projected National Security Threats, 2 February 1999.]


According to a 1998 Pentagon report on China's military capabilities, China is also developing land attack cruise missiles (LACMs) for theater warfighting and strategic attack. One design is said to be based on Silkworm/Styx anti-ship cruise missile design and will have a range of 300 km. According to the Department of Defense January 2001 report, Proliferation Threats and Response, "China's research and development of LACMs is being aided by an aggressive acquisiton of foreign technology and subsystems, particularly from Russia." In addition to development of cruise missiles, Beijing is pursuing warhead designs. Tim McCarthy, senior research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said that Chinese engineers are working on a nuclear warhead for its cruise missile. More recent reports have indicated that the Chinese Air Force plans to equip its modern aircraft with nuclear-tipped air-to surface cruise missiles, and that China has also imported Russian technicians for the development of a new long-range nuclear-capable cruise missile.["Cruise Missiles Becoming Top Proliferation Threat," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 February 1993, pp. 26-27; UPI (Washington), in Executive News Service, 1 February 1993; Holly Porteous, "China's View Of Strategic Weapons," Jane's Intelligence Review, March 1996, pp. 134-135; Barbara Opall, Defense News, 15 December 1996, pp. 1, 48.]

A 1998 Pentagon report said "the first LACM to enter production probably would be air-launched from bombers and could be operational early in the next decade. A second generation, longer-range LACM probably would be fielded several years away." This second generation LACM will have both tactical and strategic attack roles and thus may be a nuclear capable system. Jane's reports that the range of this second generation nuclear-capable LACM will be 2,000 km while the conventional version may have a range of 1,500 km. [Future Military Capabilities and Strategy of the People's Republic of China, Report to Congress, Pursuant to Section 1226 of the FY98 National Defense Authorization Act.]

However, Jane's Defence Weekly, writes that China's first LACM is ground launched. The Hong Niao-1 (HN-1) has a range of 600 km and can carry a 300 to 400 kg conventional warhead or a 90 kT nuclear warhead. The HN-1 is believed to use inertial guidance with terrain comparison or GPS updates. An improved version, the HN-2, is believed to have entered into service in 1996 with an increased range of 1,500 to 2,000 km. The HN-3 is being developed with a range of 2,500 km, and may enter service after 2005. [Duncan Lennox, "China's new cruise missile programme 'racing ahead'," Jane's Defence Weekly, 12 January 2000, p. 12.; “Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) Hong Niao /Chang Feng” in China Nuclear Forces Guide. August 2002. Available at:]

China is also developing low observable technology for its cruise missiles. Seek Optics Technical Co. Ltd. has developed materials which can be used to make cruise missiles as well as aircraft, tanks and warships more stealthy. The material named SF18, which can be used on cruise missiles, reportedly "absorbs radiation in the 2GHz-18GHz band. The reflex loss of the material reaches -10dB and their relative absorption ration exceeds 60%." In addition, plans for China to use the Russian GLONASS satellite-based global positioning system may enable China to improve the accuracy of its cruise missiles without relying on the US GPS system.[Zhang Yihong, "Beijing develops new radar-absorbing materials," Jane's Defense Weekly, 24 February 1999, p.3]

It has also been reported that China has purchased complete missile designs and manufacturing tooling from Russia for the AS-15 "Kent," Kh-65SE or AS-16 cruise missiles. China has also bought AS-17 "Krypton" missiles and is negotiating with Russia to build them under license. All of these missiles could carry nuclear warheads. Most recently, the first lot of 24 SS-N-22 Sunburn anit-ship cruise missiles was shipped to China on 16 May 2000. China has purchased two lots of the Sunburn for their Sovremenny-class destroyer, the Hangzhou, from Russia. The second lot is to be delivered at the end of this year. While the delivered missiles are conventionally equipped, Russia does manufacture nuclear equipped Sunburn missiles. This has led to some speculation that "Russia could provide or China could develop, technology that would enable the missiles to deliver a Chinese nuclear warhead." [Duncan Lennox, "A Consistent Policy," Jane's Defense Weekly, 11 August 1999, p. 23.; "Craig Smith, "New Chinese Guided-Missile Ship Heightens Tension," The New York Times (online version) 9 February 2000; "First Lot of Moskit Missiles Shipped to China," ITAR-TASS News Agency, Moscow, in English 1303 GMT 16 May 2000, in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 26 May 2000.]

The US may have also unwittingly aided China's cruise missile program. There are at least six reported cases where US Tomahawk cruise missiles have crashed without exploding. Some of these were believed to have been recovered and shipped to China. Because of this, "a wide range of advanced technologies associated with cruise missile design may therefore have been available to China. These include: INS/GPS guidance; computer software; electronics; power supplies; airframe; wings; fuel system; and small turbofan engines." [Duncan Lennox, "China's new cruise missile programme 'racing ahead'," Jane's Defence Weekly, 12 January 2000, p. 12.]


A new SSBN nuclear submarine, the 09-4, may be under development, with deployment predicted before 2010. Russia is reportedly providing China with assistance in building its second generation of nuclear submarines. The new submarine is expected to incorporate significant improvements over the Xia in areas such as quieting and sensor systems, sonar, and propulsion. China intends to outfit the 09-4 submarine with 16 JL-2 SLBMs. The land-based version of the JL-2, which is known as the DF-31, was first flight tested in 1999 but has encountered significant technological problems and is still under development. A 1999 National Intelligence Council report estimated that the JL-2 is expected to be tested within the next decade and will probably be able to target the United States from launch areas near China. Some reports indicate the JL-2 will be MIRV-capable. China reportedly plans to produce an SSBN fleet of four to six submarines parallel to improvements in submarine and missile technology, but these plans could be delayed due to technical problems with solid missile fuel and the submarines' nuclear reactors.

[Sources: Robert S. Norris, "Nuclear Arsenals of the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and China: A Status Report," presented at the 5th ISODARCO Beijing Seminar on Arms Control, Chengdu, China, November 1996, p. 6; "British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Forces," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November-December 1996, p. 67; Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume 5, p. 373; Paul Godwin and John J. Schulz, "Arming The Dragon For The 21st Century: China's Defense Modernization Program," Arms Control Today, December 1993, p. 6 "Foreign Missile Developments and Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States Through 2015," National Intelligence Council, September 1999.]



Although China's bombers have been in service for over 30 years, they are unlikely to defeat adversaries with modern air defenses. Chinas 30 Qian-5 (A-5/FANTAN) and 100 Hong-6 (B-6/BADGER) bombers are believed to be intended to deliver nuclear weapons. The Qian-5 has a limited range of 400 km and can only carry one nuclear bomb, while the Hong-6 has a range of 3,100 km and can carry up to three bombs.

China is in the process of developing its first indigenously produced fighter/bomber, the H-7. The H-7, which was flight tested in 1988, has the capability to deliver a 10 kT-3 MT nuclear bomb, although some sources indicate the H-7 will not have a nuclear role. Until recently, it was believed that the H-7 would be a PLAAF bomber, but according to a 1995 RAND study on the Chinese air force, the H-7 will be a PLAN bomber. No more than 20 will be built and will not be ready to be deployed until the late 1990s. Production problems may delay that date even further.

China's Nuclear Stockpile and Deployments

According to a study of China's nuclear forces conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC),

"Our best estimate is that China maintains an arsenal of about 400 warheads of two basic categories, some 250 "strategic" weapons structured in a "triad" of land-based missiles, bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The emphasis of China's arsenal is primarily on the land-based missile leg of the triad. Additionally, China is thought to possess about 150 "tactical" weapons, made up of some or all of the following: low yield bombs for tactical bombardment, artillery shells, atomic demolition munitions, and possibly short range missiles."

Chinese nuclear forces are estimated to be deployed at about 20 locations and are under the control of the Central Military Commission (CMC). While China is believed to have 250 strategic nuclear weapons, only about 20 of these are deployed on missiles capable of traveling intercontinental distances; 100 are thought to be deployed on missiles and bombers with ranges from 1,800 to 4,750 kilometers. To date, China has not officially acknowledged its possession of tactical nuclear weapons and China has not discussed the qualitative or quantitative state of its nuclear arsenal.

China has six types of operational land based nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the DF-5/5A, DF-4, DF-3A, DF-21/21X, the DF-15, and the DF-11. China has 40 DF-3 missile launchers deployed at Jianshui, Kunming, Yidu, Tonghua, Dengshahe and Lianxiwang. However, these are being replaced by the DF-21 at the Tonghua, Jianshui and Lianxiwang sites. The DF-4 is a longer range missile deployed at Da Qaidam, Delingha, Sundian, Tongdao, and Xiao Qaidam. The DF-5A, China's longest range missile, is capable of striking targets throughout the continental United States. 18-26 of these DF-5A missiles are deployed in silos and caves at Luoning and Xuanhua. It is not currently known exactly where the DF-15 and DF-11 missiles are deployed. The new DF-31 has reportedly been deployed in southern China; there is no confirmation of this report. It is generally assumed that large numbers of ballistic missiles are deployed along the coastline in Fujian province in an effort to intimidate Taiwan.

China has only one type of operational submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Julang-1 (JL-1). Twelve Julang-1 are deployed on China's single Xia-class ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN). The warheads for the Julang-1 are believed to be stored at the Jianggezhuang Submarine Base. China is developing a longer range SLBM known as the JL-2 which is the sea-based version of the DF-31. The JL-2 has not yet been tested from any submarines.

Warhead Designs

China conducted its first nuclear test in 1964, tested its first hydrogen weapon in 1967, began series production of nuclear weapons in 1968 and initiated production of thermonuclear weapons in 1974. Robert Norris of the NRDC estimates that China has tested and deployed six nuclear warhead designs:

* a 20-40 kiloton (kT) fission gravity bomb
* a 20 kT missile warhead
* a 3+ megaton (MT) thermonuclear missile warhead
* a 4-5 MT warhead for the DF-5 ICBM
* a 3+ MT thermonuclear gravity bomb;
* a 200-300 kT warhead possibly for the for the DF-31 and DF-41 and JL-2 SLBM.

China may also possess low-yield fission warheads for tactical nuclear weapons. In addition, in July 1999, the Chinese government announced that in the early 1980s it had "mastered neutron bomb design technology," but Beijing did not indicate whether it had actually produced or deployed any neutron bombs. This statement about the neutron bomb was the first time that China had publicly discussed any of its military nuclear programs. China reportedly tested an experimental 1-5 kT enhanced radiation (neutron) warhead in September 1988; this step would seem to validate the recent Chinese statement about having developed a neutron bomb. China likely developed the neutron bomb to protect against the possibility of a large Soviet invasion of the mainland during the height of the Cold War.

Command and Control

Very little is known about China's chain of command for authority over nuclear weapons. It is believed that ultimate authority to use nuclear weapons rests with the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (currently Jiang Zemin) after top leaders have reached a consensus. A decision to use nuclear weapons may also require a consensus decision within the Central Military Commission and other senior military leaders. [Bates Gill and James Mulvenon, "The Chinese Strategic Rocket Forces: Transition To Credible Deterrence," unpublished study presented at China and Weapons of Mass Destruction, a seminar sponsored by the National Intelligence Council, November 1999.]

China is believed to store most of its nuclear warheads and bombs separate from its delivery vehicles and the warheads and bombs are only mated with the missiles or aircraft during launch preparations. In this sense, China's nuclear forces are not on alert. Also, China may have central storage locations for its missile warheads and gravity bombs which are accessible by a number of missile and bomber bases.

Arsenal Size

Only a few US government sources has discussed the size of China's nuclear arsenal. In the Pentagon's November 1997 report entitled, Proliferation: Threat and Response, the US Defense Department stated: China has over 100 nuclear warheads deployed operationally on ballistic missiles while additional warheads are in storage. In addition, a classified CIA study reportedly stated that 13 of China's 18 DF-5A ICBMs are targeted at the United States while the remaining five are targeted at countries closer to China. Yet, this targeting strategy may have changed after the US and China signed a "non-targeting agreement" in June 1998 in which each side promised not to target its missiles at the other.

As for future deployments, in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services, National Intelligence Officer Robert Walpole stated, "By 2015, China will likely have tens of missiles targeted against the United States, having added a few tens of more survivable land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller nuclear warheads. . ." Another analyst, Ming Zhang, agrees. He writes that "Ten years down the road. . . the Chinese nuclear arsenal. . . may grow from today's 20 ICBMs (with warhead yields in the megaton range) to perhaps 50 or 100 ICBMs with multiple warheads with yields in the kilotons."