Rare footage shows Chinese soldiers launching Beijing’s mysterious DF-16 ballistic missile which ‘can destroy Washington’s military bases in Asia’
- First-ever footage released by state broadcaster shows DF-16 being launched
- PLA soldiers was carrying out a military exercise to practise combat abilities
- The missile could defend Beijing against Washington’s military bases in Asia
- The United States has more than 800 overseas bases, including 122 in Japan
China’s state broadcaster has reportedly released footage for the first time showing the country’s Dongfeng-16 missile being launched during a drill.
Dongfeng-16, a relatively mysterious member of the Chinese missile family, is a ground-to-ground ballistic missile with a reported maximum range of 1,600 kilometres (994 miles).
With a high precision enhanced by China’s Beidou satellite navigation system, the short-to-medium-range missile could destroy targets on the archipelagos in East Asia, including the US military bases in Japan, according to People’s Daily.
Soldiers in training get ready to launch a DF-16 missile during a recent military drill in China
This is the first time footage of the missile being launched has been released by Beijing
Dongfeng-16, also known as DF-16, was unveiled at China’s Victory Day Parade in 2015 which marked the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at World War II.
It has been billed as the ‘Okinawa Express’ in China, which hints that it was designed to defend Beijing against the American military bases in the Japanese territory.
The rare footage was released last week by China’s Military Report during a programme introducing the training of soldiers from the Rocket Force in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The Rocket Force was founded on January 1, 2016, to manage and operate Beijing’s growing number of missiles.
The video shows a number of soldiers-in-training setting up a missile and launching it during a recent exercise in a remote location.
Chinese news outlet Sohu reported that the missile in question was DF-16. It also claimed that the footage showed DF-16 had been deployed to brigades at the PLA.
The CCTV programme shows soldiers getting trained at the Rocket Force Officer School
A DF-16 soars into the skies after being launched at the exercise in a remote location in China
Ning Luqiao, a commander at the Rocket Force Officer School, told CCTV: ‘[We] must assess our education results with fighting capabilities and provide talent who can fight a war and win a war.’
Chinese military expert Du Wenlong told People’s Daily DF-16 could safeguard the country against any threats from the first island chain, a main archipelagos in Asia stretching from Japan to Indonesia via Taiwan and the Philippines.
Du said the first island chain was the result of the Cold War, which saw the United States establishing various military bases on the islands to prevent threats from China and the Soviet Union.
‘If our country has weapons with the appropriate hitting range, [they] will deliver a fatal blow to all the bases on the first island chain in the case of a war,’ Du said.
Dongfeng-16, also known as DF-16, was unveiled at China’s Victory Day Parade (pictured) on September 3, 2015, which marked the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at World War II
Since coming to power in 2012, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has trumpeted building a stronger, combat-ready army. Xi is pictured issuing an order to the soldiers in January, 2018
The United States now has more than 800 military bases in more than 80 countries, including 122 in Japan, 83 in South Korea and some in the Philippines, according to overseasbases.net.
Du said DF-16 filled the gap between short-range and long-range missiles in China’s arsenal.
Another military expert Yin Zhuo said that DF-16 was easy to launch and didn’t need a special launching pad.
A military expert said DF-16 could safeguard Beijing against threats from the first island chain
He claimed that the warhead could wipe out military facilities on the ground and under the ground.
He added that DF-16 could resist electric-magnetic interference and dodge all kinds of interception.
China claims to own around 2,500 ballistic missiles.
The PLA has two series of missiles, the Dongfeng or ‘East Wind’ guided missiles and the Julang or ‘Giant Wave’ nuclear submarine missiles.
Propaganda video claims China has 2,500 ballistic missiles
A propaganda video from China has claimed that Beijing owns about 2,500 ballistic missiles, including one of the world’s most powerful weapons, Dongfeng-41.
Dongfeng-41 missile is said to have the longest range of any ballistic rockets in the world, and could reach London or the United States with nuclear warheads.
The same video, however, also said that other countries shouldn’t be afraid of China’s ‘advanced artillery force’ because Beijing wouldn’t deploy the weapons unless it’s provoked.
China’s other missiles include DF-21 which boasts a firing distance of up to 1,926 miles (3,100km) and has been dubbed ‘the killer of aircraft carrier’.
The missile is potentially capable of sinking a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a single strike, media have claimed.
The DF-10 missile, on the other hand, is the best performing long-range cruise missile in the world, according to Chinese news site Sina.com.
Sina said the 990-pound (450kg) weapon could strike a maximum distance of 1,242 miles (2,000km) and could reach Japan and Taiwan if it’s fired from inland China.
The DF-15B missile is an improved version of the original DF-15 missile and debuted in 2009 during the military parade to celebrate China’s 60th National Day.
The missile can reportedly travel at the speed of 2,000 metres (1.4 miles) per second and its striking accuracy is within 30 metres (98 feet).