Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dragon's Fire: The PLA's 2nd Artillery Corps

Undergoing conversion to PDF format.


Steve Jones said...


You've written: "The integration of terminal homing with conventional warheads of high accuracy provides more credibility to the Chinese ASBM threat"

How does it?. What does a RADAG-style guided RV have to do with an ASBM?.

Is there not, more than sufficient, justification for the Chinese development of high-accuracy conventional ballistics in the less fanciful role of precision land attack?.

Sean O'Connor said...

Think only in context of an ASBM. I mention in there somewhere that accurate conventional missiles make missiles more likely to be used in a war, but an ASBM also needs to be very accurate to hit a relatively small object in motion. If they can make that work, then the idea of an ASBM becomes more credible because they've proven that they can make something with the required accuracy. Besides, if they're apparently trialling submunitions warheads, they don't necessarily need to be quite that accurate in a conventional land attack role anyway.

This is Part 1. I'm working a Part 2 detailing the missiles themselves, and going into way more detail on the launch sites.

Anonymous said...

Great Work, SOC! And thanks a lot for sharing this with us!
BTW: where you got that nice missile symbols from?

Steve Jones said...

No intent here to denigrate a very thorough analysis piece Sean please dont think that. By any standards its good work.

The issue I have is that the guidance and seeker capture to hit a moving target is quite different than that which allows for the 'precision' strikes that your research seems to show here. That extends down even to the manoeverabilty of the RV.

No-one would suggest that screwing an antiship seeker onto a Pershing II RV would give a defacto ASBM. It wouldnt. Yet that is the parallel people are trying to draw in this equation. Two words 'bomber' and 'gap'!. :)

The submunitions thing is a very different issue though. A bus warhead for this type of weapon offers all sorts of possibilities to take seeker and cross-range limitations out of the picture.

Will look forward to part 2.


Sean O'Connor said...

Steve: I guess the point was that they're demonstrating very high levels of accuracy. Without that as a starting point, an ASBM is probably not going to work well anyway.

Rambo: I made them myself!

They were drawn here:

And converted to .png files here:

Stan567 said...

Sean, this is great work.
Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Sean, for your hints and your truly painful effort! Would you mind if I would use your icons for other missile stuff?
I'm waiting for part two!
BTW: if of interest, here are some other probably DF-4/5 silo and launch sites which you could check out:
34°12'37.73"N 111° 4'26.69"E
34°12'48.90"N 111° 3'54.38"E
34°11'39.21"N 111° 1'27.57"E
34°11'27.80"N 111° 1'23.27"E
34°10'10.18"N 111° 3'1.94"E
33°49'11.75"N 111° 5'22.36"E
33°49'8.49"N 111° 5'29.85"E
26°26'12.35"N 109°33'24.86"E
26°26'34.08"N 109°33'49.11"E
Cheers from rambo54

Sean O'Connor said...

Use the icons for whatever you want! There should be a few different ones in there, a TEL, a silo, a UGF, and a nuke site. And a missile. The rest were just basic GE placemarks that I changed the color on.

None of those sites look BM related, and a lot of them are on pretty steep slopes that'd make it very hard to fire a missile from.

Anonymous said...

1. 28°15'28.23"N 116°38'0.22"E
2. 28°12'0.25"N 116°38'59.00"E
3. 28°16'42.91"N 116°37'53.30"E
4. 28°13'49.46"N 116°37'29.17"E

Some part UGF of 815th Brigade

Anonymous said...

More launch sites for Yuan An Brigade
25°50'42.25"N 117°15'8.53"E
26° 1'55.92"N 117°18'6.05"E
26° 1'36.31"N 117°17'59.80"E
26° 2'3.60"N 117°21'23.57"E
And some sites with fake building cover that

Anonymous said...

silo? 26°26'34.08"N 109°33'49.11"E

Sean O'Connor said...

Doesn't look like it. There's one a litle south of there, notice the rectangular covering. Even the test and training silos share the same configuration.

Anonymous said...

Many 2A has playground in there camp
Because of they will use the school playground as the TEL launch site

24°18'7.24"N 115°55'57.95"E
One passible launch site at a school playground for Meizou Brigade

Anonymous said...

A site ?
23°25'1.07"N 116°10'45.63"E

Coatepeque said...

How about the two SSM Brigades under Army command, one at Nanjing MR and the other at Guangzhou MR.

Anonymous said...

The Lanzhou uranium separation plant is switching from outdated gaseous diffusion to newer gas centrifuge technology. It's much more efficient, up to 8 times less electricity consumed for the same amount of separation.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt the US can prevail in a fight with China. That is why the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.I need not be a rocket scientist to know a US attack on China from Iraq/Afghanistan will require PLA retaliation on US territory.
Granted the US has 20000 nw and China only twenty according to western estimates. but you never know.
The Taiwan scenario is gratest catalyst for war. The PLA will destroy Taiwan if the Taiwanese are naive/stupid to declare independence. There is nothing the the US can do to stop the destruction unless the US intends on destroying China.
On paper it looks easy.
but this is not the China of Mao's time which the US can easily bully into submission or Clinton's decision to send two US ac.The price for vitory over China is going up unless the Us wants a war now.
That is why the US aims of promoting human rights and democracy is used as a pretext to attack othe countries eg Iraq.
That is why the American public are suffering with deaths in needless wars.
US forces shd be used to defend America from attack but the Pentagon is using superior power to attack others.

Gridlock said...

Shhh, don't give away that the wars in Asia are related to encircling China! You'll confuse the story. We're hunting the Taliban because they hosted UBL. Or to spread democracy. Or something.

The Angry Man said...


Nice work! I would also like to recommend Mark A. Stokes work, China's Nuclear Warhead and Handling System which details the role of the 22 Base in the Second Artillery Corps mission.

Anonymous said...

The 10 august GE imagery update provide an additionnal launch site in the DA QAIDAM region: n38.112601° e94.970688° there is a DF-XX unit in exercise.

Anonymous said...

The US may try to disarm the PLA nuclear component using conventional weapons.That's a forlorn hope. I believe the PLA have factored in this scenario. So if the PLA goes for the nuclear threshold China could in theory be destroyed/pulverised.
I'm afraid the Pentagon won't have things their way.
For starters it aint going to be easy for the US to eliminate all of 20 nw if we believe that is the number.The Chinese may have more than that.In my opinion the PLA might have 500 to 1000nw.
If the US wants to be free from nuclear attack,it better not use nuclear weapons or conventional weapons to destroy the PLA nm.
So far the US has been fighting with defenceless countries who are unable to retaliate. China is different.Granted the US will prevail but the PLA will be able cause unacceptable damage which the price for US victory.
Btw if the Chinese can send someone into space what's there to prevent them from developing more powerful weapons.With the trillions they they can use it to lure the best weapons innovators which was a US monopoly after ww2.

Rupinder said...

One against invading Somalis on the Eastern Front and the second against Eritrean rebels on the Northern Front.

Home staging Certification

Anonymous said...

Hi! It looks like we have some DF-31A TELs at 39°48'11.74"N 116°42'39.80"E ? Any thoughts why this is on Beijing/Tongxian AB?
Cheers from bernd reuter