International

Parade set to showcase China’s nuke power

Nuclear missiles on display during the 60th anniversary of China’s founding.Intercontinental ballistic missiles will be the highlight of China’s military parade on September 3 to commemorate the end of World War II.  

China is set to show case its rapidly evolving nuclear deterrent with its intercontinental ballistic missiles—central to the country’s nuclear second strike capability—as the core of its upcoming military parade on September 3.

The grand parade, in which 12,000 soldiers are participating, is meant to highlight the end of World War II, with focus on defeat of Japanese militarism 70 years ago. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not attending the event, but Russian President Vladimir Putin would be present. So would be Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea, a country which has been a top ally of the U.S., but had also suffered gravely under Japanese occupation in the war years. Xinhua is reporting that China’s strategic missile force, the Second Artillery Forces (SAC), will display seven types of missiles at the parade— the scale and number surpassing all previous outings. Analysts say that the China is keen to demonstrate its second strike capability of having enough forces to counterattack with atomic weapons after absorbing a destructive initial strike by an adversary.

Chinese authorities have not revealed the exact nomenclature of the missiles that would be paraded, but  Duowei News, a U.S.-based Chinese outlet, is pointing out the DF-31B could be a star attraction. Earlier reports in the Chinese state-media say that the DF-31B is a solid fuelled weapon, which is also mobile, as it is mounted on a vehicle-both factors contributing to its survivability.

Some Chinese bloggers, sourcing their information from state-media, point out that the DF-31B has a range of 11,200 km, capable of covering the entire U.S. Besides, it takes only 5 minutes for the weapon to enter its ballistic trajectory, making it difficult for U.S. spy satellites to pick it up in time.

The skies over Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the Chang’an Avenue, through which the parade will pass, will be swarmed with aircraft on September 3. Nearly 200 planes of 20 types will participate in the fly past—an unprecedented number for any military parade that China has so far held. 

The KJ-2000 and KJ-200 have played a leading early warning role in recent years. China has been known to develop the J-15 carrier borne aircraft, which could be displayed at the parade.

The focus will be on the J-10—a single engine multirole fighter— and the J-11 air superiority fighter, widely seen as an adaptation of the Russian SU-27 jets that the Chinese had procured in the 1990s. The backbone of the aviation wing of the future will be complete with the induction of J-16, an adaptation of the J-11 planes, but with longer range and more offensive punch.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 1:00:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/parade-set-to-showcase-chinas-nuke-power/article7576386.ece

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