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Chinese Quest For Nuclear Superiority: Beijing On-Track To Surpass The US In Land-Based Nuclear Weapons – Top Commander

beijingwalker

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Chinese Quest For Nuclear Superiority: Beijing On-Track To Surpass The US In Land-Based Nuclear Weapons – Top Commander​

BySakshi Tiwari

March 2, 2022

China’s growing military prowess and technological advancements have set alarm bells ringing in the United States’ security establishment. There have been serious concerns about China surpassing the American superiority that its military has enjoyed since the end of the cold war.

Recently, Strategic Command (STRATCOM) chief Adm. Charles Richard warned the US Congress that China is on track to surpass the US in land-based strategic nuclear forces unless the US invests extensively in modernizing its land-based long-range missile force.

“The discovery of three new ICBM missile fields in the last year demonstrates the value the PRC [People’s Republic of China] places on land-based forces,” Richard told the US House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Tuesday.

“If we choose not to continue investing in the land-based leg of our triad, the PRC will soon have a superior, modernized nuclear force with elevated day-to-day readiness.”

Richard recalled that he had earlier warned that China’s nuclear and conventional armed forces had reached a new level of capacity, a strategic “breakout” that had altered the global power balance.

China urged to increase sea-based nuclear deterrent amid US intensified strategic threat - Global Times
Chinese DF-5B Missile – Via Global Times

“In September 2021, I formally declared the strategic breakout of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the Secretary of Defense… The PRC continues the breathtaking expansion of its strategic and nuclear forces with opaque intentions as to their use,” Richard said.

These concerns are an echo of previous assertions made by higher echelons about China’s growing military development aimed at ending American air and naval superiority.

In September last year, at the Air Force Association conference, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown Jr. said that by the year 2035, China would have eclipsed the United States’ air superiority, as previously reported by the EurAsian Times.


Further, according to a US report, China’s PLA Navy (PLAN) has been progressively modernizing since the mid-1990s and has now become “a potent military force” in coastal seas. According to the revised assessment, China’s navy has the most ships in the world, and its continued capability enhancement poses a danger to the US Navy’s control of the Western Pacific.

The report advises the US Congress should examine whether the Navy is adequately prepared to deal with a modernized PLAN.

df-17-2.jpg

China’s DF-17 hypersonic missiles. (Image: China Military Online)
However, the conversation around Chinese land-based strategic nuclear force overtaking the US superiority is significant as it comes in the wake of Russia alerting its own strategic forces as a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is in process. There have been parallels drawn to a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan that would potentially draw Japan and the US into the conflict.

Chinese Quest For Nuclear Superiority

Another illustration of such developing capabilities, according to Richard, was China’s recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile-launched hypersonic glide vehicle with fractional orbital bombardment.

In July last year, China conducted a world-first test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that flew around the globe before slamming into a target. According to unidentified US intelligence officials, the hypersonic missile test also featured the launch of a separate missile from the ultra-high-speed vehicle.

The United States also acknowledged that the hypersonic missile completed a circumnavigation of the globe, as previously stated by the EurAsian Times.

风洞.png

File Image: China’s Hypersonic Wind tunnel
According to Deputy-Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker, China is building its strategic nuclear weapon arsenal significantly faster than US Defense Department analysts expected and looks to be aiming to have at least 1,000 warheads deployed by 2030.

“This accelerated nuclear expansion may enable the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to field over 700 nuclear warheads by 2027,” Baker told the US House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, greatly exceeding previous Department of Defense estimates.”

According to Baker, the continuous ambitious growth of China’s nuclear forces is becoming a more important component in how Defense Department policymakers perceive the US nuclear posture.

China had an active nuclear weapon stockpile in the low 200s in 2020, according to the US Department of Defense, but that figure is expected to rise over the next decade. Since then, China has advanced its nuclear development, with the US Defense Department estimating that by 2027, China might have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads and 1,000 by 2030, according to Arms Control Association.

China has also started construction on at least three solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo fields, which would eventually contain hundreds of new ICBM silos, Baker said, noting that this is a shift from Beijing’s previous nuclear deterrence posture. Further, an editorial in the state-run Global Times had stated that China’s nuclear deterrence buildup cannot be tied down by the US.

The tensions between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific and China’s onward cruise to the Pacific have necessitated conversations about the global balance of power that many in America believe could be tilted in China’s favor by the year 2035.

 

khansaheeb

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Chinese Quest For Nuclear Superiority: Beijing On-Track To Surpass The US In Land-Based Nuclear Weapons – Top Commander​

BySakshi Tiwari

March 2, 2022

China’s growing military prowess and technological advancements have set alarm bells ringing in the United States’ security establishment. There have been serious concerns about China surpassing the American superiority that its military has enjoyed since the end of the cold war.

Recently, Strategic Command (STRATCOM) chief Adm. Charles Richard warned the US Congress that China is on track to surpass the US in land-based strategic nuclear forces unless the US invests extensively in modernizing its land-based long-range missile force.

“The discovery of three new ICBM missile fields in the last year demonstrates the value the PRC [People’s Republic of China] places on land-based forces,” Richard told the US House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Tuesday.

“If we choose not to continue investing in the land-based leg of our triad, the PRC will soon have a superior, modernized nuclear force with elevated day-to-day readiness.”

Richard recalled that he had earlier warned that China’s nuclear and conventional armed forces had reached a new level of capacity, a strategic “breakout” that had altered the global power balance.

China urged to increase sea-based nuclear deterrent amid US intensified strategic threat - Global Times
Chinese DF-5B Missile – Via Global Times

“In September 2021, I formally declared the strategic breakout of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the Secretary of Defense… The PRC continues the breathtaking expansion of its strategic and nuclear forces with opaque intentions as to their use,” Richard said.

These concerns are an echo of previous assertions made by higher echelons about China’s growing military development aimed at ending American air and naval superiority.

In September last year, at the Air Force Association conference, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown Jr. said that by the year 2035, China would have eclipsed the United States’ air superiority, as previously reported by the EurAsian Times.


Further, according to a US report, China’s PLA Navy (PLAN) has been progressively modernizing since the mid-1990s and has now become “a potent military force” in coastal seas. According to the revised assessment, China’s navy has the most ships in the world, and its continued capability enhancement poses a danger to the US Navy’s control of the Western Pacific.

The report advises the US Congress should examine whether the Navy is adequately prepared to deal with a modernized PLAN.

df-17-2.jpg

China’s DF-17 hypersonic missiles. (Image: China Military Online)
However, the conversation around Chinese land-based strategic nuclear force overtaking the US superiority is significant as it comes in the wake of Russia alerting its own strategic forces as a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is in process. There have been parallels drawn to a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan that would potentially draw Japan and the US into the conflict.

Chinese Quest For Nuclear Superiority

Another illustration of such developing capabilities, according to Richard, was China’s recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile-launched hypersonic glide vehicle with fractional orbital bombardment.

In July last year, China conducted a world-first test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that flew around the globe before slamming into a target. According to unidentified US intelligence officials, the hypersonic missile test also featured the launch of a separate missile from the ultra-high-speed vehicle.

The United States also acknowledged that the hypersonic missile completed a circumnavigation of the globe, as previously stated by the EurAsian Times.

View attachment 820271
File Image: China’s Hypersonic Wind tunnel
According to Deputy-Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker, China is building its strategic nuclear weapon arsenal significantly faster than US Defense Department analysts expected and looks to be aiming to have at least 1,000 warheads deployed by 2030.

“This accelerated nuclear expansion may enable the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to field over 700 nuclear warheads by 2027,” Baker told the US House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, greatly exceeding previous Department of Defense estimates.”

According to Baker, the continuous ambitious growth of China’s nuclear forces is becoming a more important component in how Defense Department policymakers perceive the US nuclear posture.

China had an active nuclear weapon stockpile in the low 200s in 2020, according to the US Department of Defense, but that figure is expected to rise over the next decade. Since then, China has advanced its nuclear development, with the US Defense Department estimating that by 2027, China might have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads and 1,000 by 2030, according to Arms Control Association.

China has also started construction on at least three solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo fields, which would eventually contain hundreds of new ICBM silos, Baker said, noting that this is a shift from Beijing’s previous nuclear deterrence posture. Further, an editorial in the state-run Global Times had stated that China’s nuclear deterrence buildup cannot be tied down by the US.

The tensions between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific and China’s onward cruise to the Pacific have necessitated conversations about the global balance of power that many in America believe could be tilted in China’s favor by the year 2035.

What is with this craze of destroying the enemy 100 fold, isn't once enough?
 

Communism

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So much indian clickbait when they gave the game away in the title.

Beijing On-Track To Surpass The US In Land-Based Nuclear Weapons


The U.S. does not rely on Land-Based Nuclear Weapons at all.

They only exist because it's cheaper than getting rid of them.
 

BHAN85

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Land-Based nuclear weapons are offensive weapons, because it will be the first target in a first strike, its position is known.

Sea-based nuclear weapons are defensive weapons, because SSBN position is unknown and can't be destroyed in a foe first strike.

So what is planning China? Defending itself certainly not.
 

serenity

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Land-Based nuclear weapons are offensive weapons, because it will be the first target in a first strike, its position is known.

Sea-based nuclear weapons are defensive weapons, because SSBN position is unknown and can't be destroyed in a foe first strike.

So what is planning China? Defending itself certainly not.

A first strike by anyone is suicidal. No way China is planning some first strike build up.

First strike by any of the top three nuclear powers against any of the other top three powers is pure craziness especially with how on alert they are and all the early warning systems they have.

I think this is simply a nuclear build up to similar levels to Russia and US. After all China's economy adjusted for PPP and considering RMB true value does afford it a similar nuclear force size compared to US. Without building so many SSBNs (for deterrence), it has to build those SSBN numbers up over decades but land based and HGV delivery systems can be expanded in numbers.
 

BHAN85

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A first strike by anyone is suicidal. No way China is planning some first strike build up.

First strike by any of the top three nuclear powers against any of the other top three powers is pure craziness especially with how on alert they are and all the early warning systems they have.

I think this is simply a nuclear build up to similar levels to Russia and US. After all China's economy adjusted for PPP and considering RMB true value does afford it a similar nuclear force size compared to US. Without building so many SSBNs (for deterrence), it has to build those SSBN numbers up over decades but land based and HGV delivery systems can be expanded in numbers.
Then they are building nukes only for be like Russia and US, and dont use never at all.
 

serenity

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Then they are building nukes only for be like Russia and US, and dont use never at all.

Well US and Russia both have more than 2000 nuclear warheads. China has between 500 and 2000. Totally unknown but the recent nuclear talks between US and China US refused to disarm and Chinese government considers this because US has much more warheads and so the negotiation is from a position of weakness. Need to have more or equal numbers of weapons to get the other side to really consider disarming.

Imagine if we had two groups pointing guns at each other. Group A has 10 guys with 10 machine guns and Group B has 10 guys with 5 machine guns. These groups are talking about lowering their weapons and then destroying their machine guns so that neither group has any. Of course Group A feels they shouldn't be disarming since they have the advantage.

Anyway this was the assumed reason why US is not tolerating any talk about their disarmament but very keen for China to disarm. On top of this anyway is the need for more weapons. It is too risky not to have at least equal numbers. The intention of course is not to use. But not having enough means the other may consider using.
 

UKBengali

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I think the Chinese are having to expand their land based nuclear weapons more than they like as they are still to deploy the next-gen Type-096 SSBM with it's JL-3 missile that can hit any part of the USA from seas near China.

In terms of survivability, the road-mobile DF-31AG and DF-41 are actually not that more vulnerable than SSBN as it can be constantly on the move and hidden in forests and so that is a credible 2nd strike weapon. Each DF-41 can deliver 10 thermonuclear warheads and so this is a very powerful nuclear missile that could flatten the largest cities on the planet.
 

xuxu1457

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In terms of China's military spending, China has no idea of changing its nuclear policy, maintaining the number of 300 nuclear warheads, just modernizing and replacing old delivery vehicles. Minimum nuclear deterrence refers to the ability to maintain a second nuclear counterattack under any circumstances, or under a nuclear strike, and at least one nuclear warhead can ensure that it hits one of the opponent's cities. China's military spending is still less than 1.2 per cent of GDP.
 

serenity

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I think the Chinese are having to expand their land based nuclear weapons more than they like as they are still to deploy the next-gen Type-096 SSBM with it's JL-3 missile that can hit any part of the USA from seas near China.

In terms of survivability, the road-mobile DF-31AG and DF-41 are actually not that more vulnerable than SSBN as it can be constantly on the move and hidden in forests and so that is a credible 2nd strike weapon. Each DF-41 can deliver 10 thermonuclear warheads and so this is a very powerful nuclear missile that could flatten the largest cities on the planet.

Yeah SSBN is best form of secondary strike (retaliation strike) but what China has is solid too. 6 Type 094 and some upgraded ones. Each with 12 SLBM of both JL-2 and some 094 boats have JL-3. JL-2 itself has enough range to hit US from Chinese regional waters. JL-3 is already used on some upgraded Type 094.

The road mobile ICBMs are pretty safe already since finding them even using dedicated teams is like finding 100 specific needles in a warehouse full of needles. Plus not all are just truck based but there are rail container based, ship container based, and also mountain based hidden under 100km of deep underground networks throughout various parts.

Things are improved with hypersonic glide vehicles and improved warheads and payload delivery systems. But pure numbers of all this still should be increased. DF-5A and DF-5B silo based ICBMs are increased too to improve deterrence. Type 096 and H-20 will add to deterrence as American interceptors and missile defence also improve. Not marching ahead is a poor choice and not increasing numbers also a poor choice.

The number of nuclear weapons in each country:
Russia, 6850
USA, 6450
China, 300?
France, 280
UK, 215
Pakistan, 140
India, 130
Israel, 80
DPRK, 30
Japan, -2

Russia and USA peak numbers were more than 5000 but both have scaled back a lot to around 3000 but definitely should be over 2000. China's 300 is a 1980s estimate and admission from China itself. Even back in 1980s or 1990s China probably had more than it admitted to. As during this time it was trying to win political approval of the West and not wanting to be viewed as aggressive or a threat. It understated its nuclear forces. Since then this 300 estimate stuck around but is still from the 1980s. Since then we see more than 300 MRBM, IRBM, ICBM and SLBM in Chinese service with each at least having 3 MIRV of high yield warhead type. Minimal estimate of China's warhead numbers now should be well over 500 just based on number of missiles it has. Range would be 500 to 2000 warheads depending on how many warheads you consider each missile would be armed with. China also doesn't show all the ICBM and SLBM it has. It shows but a fraction of it and already the shown ones exceed 300 warhead equivalent.

UK and France both have nuclear shield of US basically and token numbers are fine. India and Pakistan both around the same numbers.

Ignoring the commenting on Japan. Japan was so evil but civilians were murdered with nukes just so US can show the USSR and Germany.
 
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UKBengali

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Yeah SSBN is best form of secondary strike (retaliation strike) but what China has is solid too. 6 Type 094 and some upgraded ones. Each with 12 SLBM of both JL-2 and some 094 boats have JL-3. JL-2 itself has enough range to hit US from Chinese regional waters. JL-3 is already used on some upgraded Type 094.

The road mobile ICBMs are pretty safe already since finding them even using dedicated teams is like finding 100 specific needles in a warehouse full of needles. Plus not all are just truck based but there are rail container based, ship container based, and also mountain based hidden under 100km of deep underground networks throughout various parts.

Things are improved with hypersonic glide vehicles and improved warheads and payload delivery systems. But pure numbers of all this still should be increased. DF-5A and DF-5B silo based ICBMs are increased too to improve deterrence. Type 096 and H-20 will add to deterrence as American interceptors and missile defence also improve. Not marching ahead is a poor choice and not increasing numbers also a poor choice.



Russia and USA peak numbers were more than 5000 but both have scaled back a lot to around 3000 but definitely should be over 2000. China's 300 is a 1980s estimate and admission from China itself. Even back in 1980s or 1990s China probably had more than it admitted to.

UK and France both have nuclear shield of US basically and token numbers are fine. India and Pakistan both around the same numbers.

Ignoring the commenting on Japan. Japan was so evil but civilians were murdered with nukes just so US can show the USSR and Germany.



Are you sure the JL-3 is in service and not still in development?

JL-2 is quoted as having a range of 7,500km and so cannot hit most US cities, and remember it will be vulnerable to first strike from US attack submarines as it will be relatively noisy and protected by less capable Type-093 SSNs.

At this time I do not think the Chinese have a credible SSBN threat to the US. It will probably be at least 2030 when China has sufficient numbers of Type-096 SSBM armed with JL-3 and also Type-095 SSNs that are protecting them when China can have a truly credible SSBN threat to the US.
 

serenity

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Are you sure the JL-3 is in service and not still in development?

JL-2 is quoted as having a range of 7,500km and so cannot hit most US cities, and remember it will be vulnerable to first strike from US attack submarines as it will be relatively noisy and protected by less capable Type-093 SSNs.

At this time I do not think the Chinese have a credible SSBN threat to the US. It will probably be at least 2030 when China has sufficient numbers of Type-096 SSBM armed with JL-3 and also Type-095 SSNs that are protecting them when China can have a truly credible SSBN threat to the US.

Yes. JL-3 is in service according to reliable leakers and commentators. It's been tested many, many times already in service testing not initial flight testing. In service testing wasn't known to be either Type 094 or test rig platform but later agreed was on upgraded Type 094. In fact China's state medias even showed the newer Type 094 and the changes in a few photos. They didn't point them out but they made it clear enough. This is the usual pattern of disclosure.

JL-2 has since DF-31A been well over 7200km (which is estimated). This has been in service since 2015 at latest. They show strategic weapons well after they have been in service.

10,000km range of DF-31A or JL-2 (after 2015) can hit most of California just from Chinese coast.

The relative low numbers of SSBN and SLBM is partly why the increase in land based missiles and technologies like HGV.

Something like 200 to 400 new identified silos constructed everywhere. Unsure if for DF-5 or DF-41 or some new dedicated HGV launching missiles that is not DF-5 or DF-41. All guesses.

Already several hundred DF-31 and DF-41 and DF-5 for ICBM reach. If each one averages 3 MT yield warheads, that's 500 to 1000 warheads from land based ICBM. 72 JL-2 or JL-3 (now a mix of JL-2 and JL-3 with at least one Type 094 modified for JL-3 in released photos).

China is not hiding its intention to expand nuclear arsenal to US numbers. US fear mongering states it is aiming to surpass US numbers but that's probably too wasteful and better to improve delivery technology while also spending on H-20 and Type 096 for future.

So basically not hiding silo based new missiles and rapid expansion due to increasing tensions after trade war from Trump era. Total warheads numbers, missiles, platforms, delivery systems, and new technologies like HGV and HCM.
 

UKBengali

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Yes. JL-3 is in service according to reliable leakers and commentators. It's been tested many, many times already in service testing not initial flight testing. In service testing wasn't known to be either Type 094 or test rig platform but later agreed was on upgraded Type 094. In fact China's state medias even showed the newer Type 094 and the changes in a few photos. They didn't point them out but they made it clear enough. This is the usual pattern of disclosure.

JL-2 has since DF-31A been well over 7200km (which is estimated). This has been in service since 2015 at latest. They show strategic weapons well after they have been in service.

10,000km range of DF-31A or JL-2 (after 2015) can hit most of California just from Chinese coast.

The relative low numbers of SSBN and SLBM is partly why the increase in land based missiles and technologies like HGV.

Something like 200 to 400 new identified silos constructed everywhere. Unsure if for DF-5 or DF-41 or some new dedicated HGV launching missiles that is not DF-5 or DF-41. All guesses.

Already several hundred DF-31 and DF-41 and DF-5 for ICBM reach. If each one averages 3 MT yield warheads, that's 500 to 1000 warheads from land based ICBM. 72 JL-2 or JL-3 (now a mix of JL-2 and JL-3 with at least one Type 094 modified for JL-3 in released photos).

China is not hiding its intention to expand nuclear arsenal to US numbers. US fear mongering states it is aiming to surpass US numbers but that's probably too wasteful and better to improve delivery technology while also spending on H-20 and Type 096 for future.

So basically not hiding silo based new missiles and rapid expansion due to increasing tensions after trade war from Trump era. Total warheads numbers, missiles, platforms, delivery systems, and new technologies like HGV and HCM.



Whatever the exact details of the Chinese nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, we can be sure in 2022 they are now able to inflict MAD to both USA and Russia and so are on the same level of nuclear deterrence.
 

serenity

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Whatever the exact details of the Chinese nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, we can be sure in 2022 they are now able to inflict MAD to both USA and Russia and so are on the same level of nuclear deterrence.

USA respects Russia's military just due to nuclear arsenal alone. It is not enough to know you can certainly inflict MAD on your enemy even if half your missiles are gone. But it is to let your opponent know you have inflict MAD on them and all their partners even if 90% of your missiles are gone or intercepted. That is the goal of expansion. Only when it is beyond abundantly clear what your true power is, will the enemy begin to give you even half the respect. Otherwise threats and provocations even if you have MAD and your opponent knows you have a just good enough MAD.

It is about having MAD x10 rather than a simple security of deterrence. Then the opponent might respect you more and not provoke as much and not act out as much. Another benefit would be in negotiations and in disarmament talk. Not just nuclear disarmament but overall military reduction especially in presence.
 

UKBengali

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USA respects Russia's military just due to nuclear arsenal alone. It is not enough to know you can certainly inflict MAD on your enemy even if half your missiles are gone. But it is to let your opponent know you have inflict MAD on them and all their partners even if 90% of your missiles are gone or intercepted. That is the goal of expansion. Only when it is beyond abundantly clear what your true power is, will the enemy begin to give you even half the respect. Otherwise threats and provocations even if you have MAD and your opponent knows you have a just good enough MAD.

It is about having MAD x10 rather than a simple security of deterrence. Then the opponent might respect you more and not provoke as much and not act out as much. Another benefit would be in negotiations and in disarmament talk. Not just nuclear disarmament but overall military reduction especially in presence.



Think about what the Chinese need to achieve MAD on the US.

I would say if they can reliably even get through 12 DF-41s with 10 thermonuclear wearheads each that will be enough.

Once US has lost New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Miami etc and some of their major ports and critical infrastructure like the Hoover dam then that it is pretty much it for them.

MAD does not simply mean wiping the other country totally put of existence - it is doing enough damage that they are a non-functional state for decades to come.
 

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