China’s new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Dongfeng-41 is among the world’s most advanced missiles, military expert Shao Yongling recently told People’s Daily Online.
The photo circulating on the internet shows equipment suspected to be Dongfeng-41.
According to foreign media, officials from the U.S. Department of Defense revealed China's launch of the Dongfeng -41 intercontinental missile on May 27. The Dongfeng-41 missile launched a number of warheads and hit targets of the Western China range.
Shao said that if the report is true, the Dongfeng-41 is now combat ready.
Currently, China has two major ICBMs, Dongfeng-5 and Dongfeng-31. Dongfeng-5 is a silo-based liquid-propellant missile, and it is able to accommodate multiple re-entry vehicles. Dongfeng-31 is a mobile launcher based missile that is propelled by solid fuel.
According to Shao, the Dongfeng-5 has a larger load and lethality, but responds more slowly because of its liquid-fuel system, and the Dongfeng-31 runs faster but has a lower lethality than the Dongfeng-5.
The new ICBM Dongfeng-41 combines the advantages of the above two missiles, and is able to perform strikes with more precision and efficiency.
Shao said that the independently-targeted multiple warheads can improve lethality and penetration of the missiles, and are able to attack multiple targets simultaneously.