PLA could be defeated in an hour in nuclear war with US: report

Source: Want China Times

DF-31A mobile launchers on display in a 2009 military parade in Beijing. (Internet photo)

DF-31A mobile launchers on display in a 2009 military parade in Beijing. (Internet photo)

The People’s Liberation Army could be defeated in a potential nuclear war between China and the United States in just one hour, according to the Moscow-based Expert magazine.

Military experts around the world have claimed that the United States should not underestimate the nuclear capability of the Second Artillery Corps, China’s strategic missile force. The magazine said however that many of the technologies used by the PLA today come from the former Soviet Union. The report added that China’s most advanced technology still comes from nuclear experts from Russia and Ukraine who defected after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

China has yet to build a three-pronged nuclear capability that could challenge the United States, consisting of strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The Second Artillery Corps is also unable to compete against the US in the number of nuclear warheads it has, the report said, adding that China would likely lose a full scale nuclear war in less than an hour.

Vasily Kashin from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies said that the DF-5 missiles currently equipped by the Second Artillery Corps are capable of striking continental United States. However, it will take the PLA at least two hours to fire this fragile liquid-fueled missile, which means that it can be easily wiped out by the enemy even before its launch. China’s DF-4 missile, meanwhile, has a range of 5,500 kilometers but cannot reach the United States, Kashin said.

The magazine reported that China is developing the DF-31A — a road-mobile, solid propellant ICBM with a range of 11,000 kilometers. It will be able to target key cities on the West Coast of the United States, including Los Angeles. However, the United States has at least 2,000 advanced ICBMs with similar capabilities to the DF-31A. In addition, both the DF-31 and DF-31A are limited to one nuclear warhead.

Sources claim that China is now devoting resources to the development of the DF-41, which will have a range of 14,000 kilometers. A single DF-41 is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, the Expert said, adding that the new missile will not begin service with the PLA in the foreseeable future. It takes between 20 and 30 years for China to deploy its ICBMs to the frontline after the first test launch of the missile, according to the magazine.

As for China’s new Type 094 Jin-class ballistic missile submarine, the Expert stated that it is equipped with a JL-2 missile with a range of 8,000 kilometers. Analysts from the Pentagon said that the capability of Type 094 is only comparable to the submarines of the Soviet Union in 1970s, however. In addition, it will take another five years for the first Jin-class submarine to begin service with the PLA Navy.

Meanwhile, China also has a regiment of H-6K strategic bombers based on the design of the Soviet Union’s Tupolev Tu-16 jet bomber, which was first produced in the 1950s. The H-6K has been upgraded with D-30KP engines and CJ-10 cruise missiles, but the country is still unable to develop a smaller nuclear warhead to be loaded aboard the strategic bomber, the magazine said.

3 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Don Azarias says:

    “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?”— Ronald Reagan, 1984 State of the Union

  2. China dragon says:

    But the problem is the US wants to maintain its conventional an nuclear superiority.Though China will be destroyed or erased from the world map,the US wont be much better off.
    Factor in the radiation and the fallout blowing from east to west it will be a disaster unmatched in history. Oh US scientists could be working to minimize this but don’t expect the PLA to stand still.

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      Countries that possesses nuclear weapons know damn well what the consequences are if they ever deploy any of these weapons. The first time it was used was to end a war that could have gone on for a long time and cost more lives only to find out what it could really do to the world we live in. I doubt that these powerful countries will ever use it on one another except for radical countries like Iran and other Islamic countries that don’t give a damn about the people that don’t agree with their radical beliefs

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