(From Washington Free Beacon)
U.S. intelligence agencies recently monitored a Chinese test of a new rail car-based long-range missile capable of hitting targets throughout the United States.
The canister ejection test of a DF-41 missile from a rail-mobile launcher was detected on Dec. 5 in western China, said defense officials familiar with reports of the test.
Few details were available on the DF-41 launcher ejection test.
However, Chinese rail-based missile development has been carried out in the past at the Wuzhai missile test center, also known as the Taiyuan satellite launch center since 1982, according to declassified CIA documents. The launch site is located in China’s central Shanxi Province.
The test this month marks a significant milestone for Chinese strategic weapons developers and demonstrates that Beijing is moving ahead with building and deploying the DF-41 on difficult-to-locate rail cars, in addition to previously-known road-mobile launchers, the officials said.
Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban declined to comment. “We do not comment on PRC weapons tests, but we do monitor Chinese military modernization carefully,” he said.
Previous disclosures from China on the DF-41, including Internet photographs, all showed the heavy missile deployed on a wheeled transporter erector launcher that is moved on roads.
The DF-41, with a range of more than 7,500 miles, is China’s most potent ICBM and was flight tested a day before the rail car ejection test with two multiple-independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), officials said. Read more