China conducted the first launch test of its new DF-31B road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of targeting the North American continent, at the Wuzhai test facility in the central China,US Media Reported.
The United States is monitoring China's military modernization, said Cynthia O Smith, spokeswoman for the Pentagon. She did not give any details regarding the Chinese missile test. Non-government military experts said that the missile tested on Sept. 25 has likely been modified for increased range or improved performance. It may even be a multi-warhead version of the DF-31.
While the details of this missile still remains secret, it is known that the DF-31B is a mobile missile variant designed specifically for travel on rugged terrain or other difficult road conditions, according to a Chinese military website. As well, it is considered a greater strategic threat because tracking and targeting it in a conflict is very difficult. It can be hidden in garages or caves to avoid detection by satellites and other sensors, said the report.
The Second Artillery Corps, China's strategic missile force, is estimated to have 40 DF-31s and DF-31As. The DF-41 is expected to carry multiple nuclear warheads.
After the test is completed, the DF-31B will become the latest addition to China's rapidly growing nuclear missile arsenal that includes long-range DF-31, DF-31A and DF-41 ICBMs, intermediate-range DF-26Cs, and medium-range DF-21s. China is also developing the JL-2, which can be fired from the new missile-firing nuclear-powered submarines.