China will showcase some domestically produced, advanced military equipment at an upcoming parade, authorities announced Thursday.
The parade, to be held Oct. 1 in the capital Beijing, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China following the communist victory of nationalist forces in 1949, Defense News reported.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the parade will be bigger than those that commemorated the 50th and 60th founding anniversaries, as well as the military parade in 2015 that commemorated the Allied defeat of imperial Japan in 1945.
Gen. Cai Zhijun, a member of the Chinese Army General Staff, said at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday that China’s People’s Liberation Army “will show some advanced weapons for the first time.”
He did not go into specifics, but Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that the weapon systems that will make their debut include the DF-41 road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Both missiles are typically fitted with nuclear warheads. The DF-41 is a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle. It’s able to carry 10-12 nuclear warheads, each of which can be directed to a different target, the report said.
Photographs of flypast rehearsals for the parade suggest a new version of the Xi’an H-6K bomber and cruise missile carrier will also make an appearance. This variant, reportedly designated the H-6N, is equipped with an in-flight refueling probe to extend its range, the report said.
The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet, which entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force this year following operational test and evaluation, will also take part in the parade flypast, although this will not be its first appearance at such events.
Cai took pains to note that the size of the military parade was not a sign of aggression and that the People’s Liberation Army was “committed to safeguarding world peace and regional stability.”
“This military parade won’t be targeted at any countries or districts and any specific incidents,” he said.
According to TheDiplomat.com, earlier this summer, open source intelligence analysts were able to spot what appeared to be 18 DF-41 transporter-erector-launchers on Beijing’s outskirts. The DF-41 appeared to be alongside DF-31AG ICBMs and DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The DF-41 missile uses an inertial guidance, likely with stellar updates and a Global Positioning Satellite system, which provides it with an accuracy of 100-500m, military sources said. It uses a three-stage solid-fuel rocket engine and can carry a load of 1,000 kg including multiple warheads.
The three-stage solid-fuel DF-41 missile is larger than the DF-31 missile, and has a range of up to 14,000 kilometers. The missile can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 25.
The DF-41 is mounted on 16-wheeled transporter-erector-launcher. This mobile launcher is capable of moving through roadless terrain, and launching a missile from any point along its route.