Amid US-China tensions, Chinese media showcase advanced Dongfeng aircraft carrier killer nuclear missiles

In an apparent warning to the US at a time when tensions in the region are at their peak, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) has showcased the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) most powerful strategic nuclear-capable weapons in a documentary series celebrating the National Day of the country.

The eight-part documentary series, which aired on CCTV “last week,” featured the DF-21D and DF-26B anti-aircraft ballistic missiles and the new-generation DF-41 ICBMs, all part of the Dongfeng series, South China reported Morning Post (SCMP).

With a range of over 1,200 miles (roughly 2,000 kilometers), the DF-21 is a medium-range road-mobile ballistic missile system that is described as the most advanced of the series. Meanwhile, the DF-21D, capable of carrying multiple warheads, is believed to be the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile.

The DF-26 is an Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) with a range of 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers). It can be used in nuclear or conventional attacks against ground and sea targets. In addition, it is China’s first conventionally-armed ballistic missile capable of hitting the US base in Guam and can be deployed as a nuclear-armed system “capable of precision strikes.”

The anti-ship missiles would pose a major threat to US carrier strike groups in the region. China has established new missile brigades stationed in its eastern and southern theater commands, focused on security in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, a Chinese military source said, according to the outlet.

Meanwhile, the third missile in the series featured in the CCTV documentary series is the DF-41. It is a road-mobile ICBM with a range of over 9,300 miles (up to 15,000 kilometers) and is considered the longest-ranged missile in the world, surpassing that of the US LGM-30 Minuteman with a reported range of 13,000 kilometers. The DF-41 can carry up to 10 Independently Targeted Nuclear Warheads (MIRV) capable of hitting any target on the US mainland or in Europe.

The CCTV documentary series was broadcast to mark the 73rd anniversary of the PLA’s founding and showed at least a dozen DF-26B rockets with launchers, equivalent to an entire missile brigade, according to the SCMP.

“The presentation of Dongfeng series strategic weapons is a subtle warning to the United States that incites other countries to pressure Beijing on the Taiwan issue,” said Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor, according to the outlet.

Amid rising tensions between Taiwan and China and following the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, Beijing ordered several days of military drills during which multiple Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles were launched into waters around northeast and southwest Taiwan.

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