China conducts rare flight test of new submarine-launched missile
China’s military conducted a flight test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile last week, a launch that came a month after the test of a new multiple-warhead, ground-mobile missile, the Free Beacon has learned.
The flight test of the new JL-2 missile took place Thursday morning from a new Jin-class ballistic missile submarine on patrol in the Bohai Sea, near the coast of northeastern China west of the Korean peninsula, said U.S. officials.
One official said the new JL-2 represents a “potential first strike” nuclear missile in China’s growing arsenal.
The submarine missile firing followed the July 24 test launch of China’s new DF-41 road-mobile ICBM that is assessed to carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, or MIRVs.
The July 24 DF-41 test was the first of the new long-range ICBM that until the test had been shrouded in secrecy.
In addition to the JL-2, a variant of the DF-31 mobile missile, the new strategic weapons include three types of road-mobile ICBMs—DF-31, DF-31A, and DF-41—along with several intermediate and medium-range missiles and hundreds of short-range missiles that can be armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads. The Chinese also are modernizing their fleet of Russian-design strategic bombers.
By contrast, the Obama administration has been seeking to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy.
The administration, according to Republicans in Congress, also appears to be going back on promises made to the Senate in 2010 to spend billions of dollars to upgrade aging U.S. strategic nuclear forces and infrastructure.
The former head of Russia’s strategic rocket forces stated in an article published in May that China’s nuclear arsenal could have as many 3,000 warheads—far more than the 300 to 400 warheads estimated by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Full article: Ready To Launch (Washington Free Beacon)