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Contents

SIPRI Yearbook 2010

SIPRI Yearbook 2010

VI. Chinese nuclear forces

Chapter:
8. World nuclear forces
Source:
SIPRI Yearbook 2010
Author(s):
Shannon N. Kile, Vitaly Fedchenko, Bharath Gopalaswamy, Hans M. Kristensen

China is estimated to have an arsenal of approximately 200 operational nuclear weapons for delivery mainly by ballistic missiles and aircraft (see table 8.6). Additional warheads may be in reserve, giving a total stockpile of about 240 warheads. The existence of tactical warheads is uncertain, although the testing series in the 1990s reportedly included tactical warhead designs. There are no credible reports indicating that the size of the Chinese nuclear stockpile has changed significantly in recent years.

Table 8.6. Chinese nuclear forces, January 2010

Type/Chinese designation (US designation)

No. deployed

Year first deployed

Range (km)a

Warhead loading

No. of warheads

Land-based missilesb

134

134

DF-3A (CSS-2)

12

1971

3 100c

1 × 3.3 Mt

12

DF-4 (CSS-3)

12

1980

5 500

1 × 3.3 Mt

12

DF-5A (CSS-4)

20

1981

13 000

1 × 4–5 Mt

20

DF-21 (CSS-5)

60

1991

2 100d

1 × 200–300 kt

60

DF-31 (CSS-10 Mod 1)

∼15

2006

>7 200

1 × . .

15

DF-31A (CSS-10 Mod 2)

∼15

2007

>11 200

1 × . .

15

SLBMs

(36)

(36)

JL-1 (CSS-N-3)

(12)

1986

>1 770

1 × 200–300 kt

(12)

JL-2 (CSS-NX-14)

(24)

(2010)

>7 200

1 × . .

(24)

Aircrafte

>20

(40)

H-6 (B-6)

20

1965

3 100

1 × bomb

(20)

Attack (. .)

. .

1972- . .

. .

1 × bomb

(20)

Cruise missiles

150–350

. .

DH-10

150×350

2007

>1 500

1 × . .

. .f

Total

(∼200)g

. . = not available or not applicable; ( ) = uncertain figure; SLBM = submarine-launched ballistic missile.

(a) Aircraft range is for illustrative purposes only; actual mission range will vary.

(b) China defines missile ranges as short-range, <1000 km; medium-range, 1000–3000 km; long-range, 3000–8000 km; and intercontinental range, >8000 km.

(c) The range of the DF-3A may be greater than is normally reported.

(d) The DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod 2) variant is believed to have a range of up to 2500 km.

(e) Figures for aircraft are for nuclear-configured versions only.

(f) The DH-10, which is also known by the Chinese designation CJ-10, may have a nuclear role. It is apparently employable from H-6 bombers and ground-based launchers.

(g) Additional warheads are thought to be in storage to arm future DF-31, DF-31A and JL-2 missiles. The total stockpile is believed to comprise c. 240-300 warheads.

Sources: US Department of Defense (DOD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, various years; US Air Force, National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), various documents; US Central Intelligence Agency, various documents; US DOD, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Proliferation: Threat and Response (DOD: Washington, DC, Jan. 2001); Kristensen, H. M., Norris, R. S. and McKinzie, M. G., Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning (Federation of American Scientists/Natural Resources Defense Council: Washington, DC, Nov. 2006); Norris, R. S. et al., Nuclear Weapons Databook, vol. 5, British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Weapons (Westview: Boulder, CO, 1994); ‘Nuclear notebook’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, various issues; Google Earth; and authors’ estimates.

Citation (MLA):
Kile, Shannon N., Vitaly Fedchenko, Bharath Gopalaswamy, and Hans M. Kristensen. "8. World nuclear forces." SIPRI Yearbook. SIPRI. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-75.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Kile, S., Fedchenko, V., Gopalaswamy, B., & Kristensen, H. (2016). 8. World nuclear forces. In SIPRI, SIPRI Yearbook 2010: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-75.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Kile, Shannon N., Vitaly Fedchenko, Bharath Gopalaswamy, and Hans M. Kristensen. "8. World nuclear forces." In SIPRI Yearbook 2010: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, SIPRI. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-75.xml
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