Asien — Chinas ballistische Mittelstreckenrakete DF-25

This arti­cle is pub­lished with kind per­mis­sion of “Chi­nese Defence Today — sinodefence.com”.

Chinese Defence Today

Sinodefence - two DF-25 missiles in ready-to-launch position (Source: Chinese Internet)
Inter­net source pho­to of two DF-25 mis­siles in ready-to-launch posi­tion
(Source: Chi­nese Internet)

DF-25 Medi­um-Range Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile
The DF-25 (Dong Feng-25) is a two-stage, sol­id-pro­pel­lant, mobile-launch medi­um-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile (MRBM) intro­duced by the Sec­ond Artillery Corps (SAC) of the People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) around 2004~05. The DF-25 can deliv­er a sin­gle and mul­ti­ple con­ven­tion­al war­heads weight­ing 2,000kg over a max­i­mum dis­tance of 1,700km. The mis­sile is launched from a wheeled 10X10 vehi­cle capa­ble of road and off-road travelling.

Although in its ear­ly years China’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gramme main­ly con­cen­trat­ed on the design and devel­op­ment of nuclear-armed strate­gic mis­siles, the Chi­nese mil­i­tary realised that short- to medi­um-range tac­ti­cal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (TBM) could also play an impor­tant role. In the mid-1970s, the PLA pro­posed a short-range TBM that can car­ry both con­ven­tion­al and nuclear war­head. Such a mis­sile could be used to close moun­tain pass­es to stop or slow a pos­si­ble inva­sion by the Sovi­et forces. The project was lat­er cancelled.

In the 1980s, with the suc­cess of the short-range TBMs such as M‑9 (DF-15) and M‑11 (DF-11) in the export mar­ket, the Chi­nese mil­i­tary reassessed the cost-effec­tive­ness of the TBM and con­clud­ed that it could off­set the PLA’s defi­cien­cies in its lack of long-range strike air­craft, aer­i­al tanker, and air­craft car­ri­er. The PLA recog­nised that con­ven­tion­al­ly-armed bal­lis­tic mis­siles, capa­ble of pro­vid­ing an abil­i­ty to deliv­er fire­pow­er quick­ly over extend­ed dis­tances, would be use­ful in sup­port­ing the PLA Navy’s oper­a­tions in the region that is far from the coast, for exam­ple, the dis­put­ed Nan­sha (Sprat­ly) Islands.

In the late 1980s, Bei­jing ordered the then Min­istry of Aero­space Indus­try to speed up the devel­op­ment of the DF-25 mis­sile pro­gramme as a stop­gap mea­sure to sup­port China’s claim over the Nan­sha Islands as well as oth­er few islands in the South Chi­na Sea. The devel­op­ment pro­gramme was slowed down again in the 1990s as a result of the improved Sino-Viet­nam rela­tion. West­ern intel­li­gence con­clud­ed the DF-25 pro­gramme was aban­doned in 1996. How­ev­er, the project was qui­et­ly kept alive and the mis­sile final­ly entered oper­a­tional ser­vice in 2004/05.

An sketchy image of the DF-25 mis­siles was first pub­lished anony­mous­ly on the Chi­nese Inter­net in Novem­ber 2006, fol­lowed by a high-res­o­lu­tion pho­to also pub­lished anony­mous­ly in July 2007. The online ver­sion of the PLA Dai­ly lat­er also pub­lished a pho­to show­ing PLA Sec­ond Artillery Corps sol­diers load­ing a mis­sile onto a trans­porter-erec­tor-launch­er (TEL) vehi­cle exact­ly iden­ti­cal to that shown in pre­vi­ous pho­tos, indi­cat­ing that the mis­sile was already in oper­a­tional service.

Design
The DF-25 was the sec­ond sol­id-pro­pel­lant MRBM deployed by the PLA, after the DF-21 that entered ser­vice in the late 1980s. The two mis­siles have approx­i­mate­ly sim­i­lar range of 1,700km, but the con­ven­tion­al­ly-armed DF-25 has a much high­er pay­load of 2,000kg, com­pared to the 600kg pay­load of the nuclear-armed DF-21.

From the Inter­net source pho­to, it can be seen that the DF-25 MRBM is mount­ed on a WS2500 wheeled 10X10 TEL vehi­cle, with a max­i­mum load capac­i­ty of 28 tonnes. Report­ed­ly devel­oped under the assis­tance of Belarus and resem­bling the Russ­ian MAZ543 mis­sile TEL vehi­cle, the WS2500 shows strong off-road trav­el­ling ability.

Some reports sug­gest­ed that the DF-25 was derived by remov­ing the third-stage from the three-stage DF-31 ICBM and sub­sti­tut­ing a mod­i­fied sec­ond stage. The mis­sile is placed inside a cylin­der-shape container/launcher, with its nose extend­ing out­side of the launch­er. The mis­sile container/launcher is in hor­i­zon­tal posi­tion when in trav­el­ling and ver­ti­cal posi­tion dur­ing launch. At the bot­tom of the container/launcher there are four large hydrauli­cal­ly oper­at­ed sta­bilis­ers, which are low­ered in prepa­ra­tion for the mis­sile launch.

It is now known that type of war­heads the DF-25 is car­ry­ing, but it can be assumed that the pos­si­ble options for the war­head may include high-explo­sive (HE), anti-armour sub­mu­ni­tions, fuel air explo­sive (FAE), and elec­tro­mag­net­ic pulse (EMP). The PLA has also been report­ed­ly devel­op­ing the tech­nol­o­gy of using bal­lis­tic mis­siles car­ry­ing mul­ti­ple con­ven­tion­al war­heads to attack air­craft car­ri­ers. If this is true, the DF-25 offers an ide­al deliv­ery vehi­cle for this type of warheads.

Like the DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs, the DF-25 is like­ly to be equipped with a com­bined inertial/GPS guid­ance sys­tem, pos­si­bly cou­pled with ter­mi­nal guid­ance for high­er accuracy. 

Sinodefence - DF-25 missile TEL being mobilised via railway or road Sinodefence - DF-25 missile TEL being mobilised via railway or road Sinodefence - DF-25 missile TEL being mobilised via railway or road
DF-25 TEL in Mobil­i­sa­tion:
Inter­net source pho­tos show­ing the DF-25 mis­sile TEL
being mobilised via rail­way or road
(Source: Chi­nese Internet)

Sinodefence - Loading Missile onto DF-25 TEL
Load­ing Mis­sile onto DF-25 TEL:
The online ver­sion of the PLA Dai­ly pub­lished a pho­to show­ing
SAC sol­diers load­ing a mis­sile onto a TEL vehi­cle
(Source: PLA Daily) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →