China acknowledged its development of a next-generation ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41), Xinhua reported Friday.
According to Xinhua, a government environment monitoring station in Shaanxi Province published a document, saying that one of the province’s facilities is developing a ballistic rocket with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV).
Xinhua quoted a Chinese military analyst as saying in an interview with local media that, “as the US continues to strengthen its missile defense system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend.”
Apart from that some military observers believe that the development of a new missile is directly linked with the United States’ THAAD missile defense system and their anti-aircraft missile complex Patriot.
The information that China is developing a new ballistic missile first appeared last month, when the United States published its annual report on military and security developments involving the People’s Republic of China. The report states, that China is pursuing “a long-term comprehensive military modernization program.”
The international ballistic missile Dongfeng-41 has a range of 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) and is capable of delivering up to 10 nuclear warheads.