China to build third ICBM nuclear missile launch site

In early July 2021, two American researchers demonstrated the construction of a large site in the highlands of Gunza, between Mongolia and Tibet, intended to accommodate at least 119 silos able to implement intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBM, a first for Beijing which until now had only deployed 2 limited sites to implement DF-5 missiles generation, and which seemed to rely mainly on its new DF-41 mobile ICBMs to reinforce the rise of its strategic deterrent force. 3 weeks later, the construction of a second site, some 380 km from the first, was identified by these same researchers, in an article published by the American Scientist Society, again with more than a hundred silos potentially under construction. On August 12, it's the turn of a 3rd site, located in Inner Mongolia in the Hanggin Banner region near the city of Ordos, to have been identified by the American intelligence services based on snapshots captured by the European Sentinel-2 satellite, with at least 29 new silos under construction for an estimated total of between 30 and 36 silos, according to Roderick Lee, research director of the China Aerospace Studies Institute, said an organization affiliated with the US Air Force.

These new sites under construction, as well as those much smaller already in existence, clearly indicate that Beijing intends to quickly "upgrade" in the field of nuclear deterrent power vis-à-vis the two great world powers in this regard. domain, the United States and Russia. Indeed, if we admit that all the silos built will indeed be armed with ICBM DF-41 missiles with an estimated range of 12.000 to 15.000 km, Beijing would then line up more than 300 ICBMs, putting China on par with Moscow. (307 ICBM) and close to Washington and its 399 Minuteman IIIs deployed to date. As for Russia and the United States, Beijing will also line up a fleet of more than a dozen nuclear submarines launching devices armed with intercontinental change-of-medium SLBM missiles, as well as around sixty strategic bombers, today. hui of the H-6, largely modernized version of the Soviet Tu-16, and tomorrow of the H-20, a strategic stealth bomber which wants to be the Chinese answer to the American B-21 Raider, so as to be on par with the two super -historic nuclear powers.

The Chinese DF-41 ICBM missile will replace the liquid-fueled DF-5 missiles in Chinese silos, allowing much faster deployment in the event of a threat.

The increase in the number of nuclear vectors for Beijing can be justified because of Chinese ambitions to equal or even surpass the United States in all areas, including in the area of ​​deterrence. It would also take into consideration the progress made in the field of anti-ballistic systems like the THAAD and the American SM3, the Russian S-500, or the future European TWISTER system, which tend to reduce the operational but also the psychological effectiveness of nuclear deterrence, with the promise, it is sometimes risky, to intercept vectors before they strike their targets. In fact, like air strikes, it is now necessary to multiply the vectors to go beyond the adversary's interception capabilities, and therefore maintain the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence. Finally, by increasing the number of sites and silos, Beijing is designating strategic targets for the opposing missiles, which will therefore have to eliminate as a priority the Chinese nuclear response capacities in the event of conflict, thereby reducing the strike capacities towards others. targets, such as industrial sites or cities.


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