The launch of the DF-41 road-mobile missile Aug. 6 was the fourth time the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been test-fired in three years, and indicates that the weapon capable of hitting U.S. cities with nuclear warheads is nearing deployment.
The DF-41, with a range of between 6,835 miles and 7,456 miles, is viewed by the Pentagon as Beijing’s most potent nuclear missile and one of several new long-range missiles in development or being deployed.
As with earlier DF-41 flight tests, Pentagon spokesmen had no direct comment. A defense official, however, told the Washington Free Beacon: “We do not comment on PRC weapons tests but we do monitor Chinese military modernization carefully.”
The Pentagon has said it expects the new missile to become operational as early as this year. Deployment of the DF-41 also could coincide with China’s first patrols, slated to begin this year, of submarines armed with nuclear-tipped JL-2 missiles.
China's newest ICBM, the Dongfeng-41 nuclear solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.