China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.
The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test. . .
Estimates of China’s nuclear arsenal for decades put the number of strategic warheads at the relatively low level of around 250 warheads. . .
Uploading Chinese missiles from single or triple warhead configurations to up to 10 warheads means the number of warheads stockpiled is orders of magnitude larger than the 250 estimate. . .
The Chinese state television channel CCTV-4 last week broadcast nuclear threats, including graphics showing new DF-41 missiles deployed in northern China and graphics showing the missiles’ strike path into the United States. The Jan. 25 broadcast included a graphic of a 10-warhead MIRV bus for the DF-41. (Read more from “US Intel Caught Flat-Footed AGAIN as China Successively Tests 10 Warhead Nuclear Missile” HERE)