Military Developments In China

29 March 2003

Geostrategy Intelligence

U.S. fears China obtained classified Aegis technology for new destroyer

China is building a new destroyer in Shanghai that could be a copy of the U.S. Aegis-equipped missile ship. It is the third of four new ships.

The first two ships were built for anti-submarine warfare and general purpose combat. The third ship, according to intelligence sources, will be the first People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer dedicated to anti-aircraft warfare.

The ship will have a displacement of about 8,500 tons and is expected to be equipped with a high powered phased array radar ? the key element in U.S. Aegis ships. U.S. officials suspect the Chinese may have obtained classified U.S. radar technology on the SPY-1 radar. Like the Aegis, the Chinese ship will have four panels on its radar.

Speculation is that the ship will include a Chinese-made radar-surface-to-air missile complex. China purchased two Russian RIF naval SAM systems last year, which have a range of up to 90 kilometers that would be used against Taiwan's 235 kilometer-range air-launched Harpoon missiles.

The RIF is based on the highly-effective Russian S-300 missile systems.

The new warship would be used by Chinese forces in an attack on Taiwan.

China building train-based ICBM

China is building a rail-mobile version of its new long-range Dong Feng-31 intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the Kanwa news service.

The Internet-based news service, which is believed to have sources in China, reported recently that China also has completed a longer-range version known as the DF-31A, which has replaced the abandoned DF-41 long-range missile program.

"In order to further enhance the mobile nuclear striking power and the capability to survive attacks, China has developed new types of DF31 series ICBMs similar to the former Soviet Union train-born SS-24," the news service reported.

The missiles have been transported in the past on rail cars but a rail launcher is a new development. The missile is built by the Sichuan Aerospace Industry Corp.

Kanwa quoted Chinese industry sources as saying the difference between the DF-31 and DF-31A lies in the warhead configuration, with the latter having multiple warheads. The DF-31 has a single warhead.

"If launched from northeast of China via the North Pole orbit, DF-31A can possibly reach as far as New York and Washington," the report said.

The report noted that China has established a Long-range Strategic Mobile Missile Brigade.