Saturday, 29 October 2011

DongFeng 21 Medium-Range Ballistic Missile





The DongFeng 21 is a two-stage, solid-propellant, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) system developed by China Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy (also known as 2nd Space Academy). Developed from the JuLang 1 (JL-1) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the DF-21 was originally intended for strategic missions but its later variants were designed for both nuclear and conventional

The latest DF-21D was said to be the world’s first and only anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) system. The DF-21 has also been developed into space launcher and anti-satellite/anti-missile weapon carrier.

DongFeng 21

The basic variant DongFeng 21 has a maximum range of 1,700km, and a payload of 600kg. The missile can carry a single 500kT nuclear warhead, with an estimated CEP of 300~400m. This version did not enter operational service.

DongFeng 21A

The DF-21A is the extended-range version developed in the 1990s. The PLA demanded a new land-based MRBM as a successor to its DongFeng 3A in 1985, and the contract with the CASIC to develop the DF-21A was signed in 1987.

The development programme suffered from major setbacks in 1991, when two flight tests both failed. The PLA allocated additional funds to the programme in 1993 for an improved design. Four successful flight tests were carried out between 1995 and 1996 and the missile was operational by 1996.

The DF-21A has an increased range of 2,700km, and an estimated CEP of 100~300m. The missile is believed to be configured for strategic missions only.

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