Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chinese Missile Tests Continue

China conducts fourth flight test of mobile ICBM

China’s military carried out a fourth flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week, firing off a new road-mobile ICBM on Thursday, according to U.S. officials.

U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the flight test of the DF-31A missile from China’s Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center to an impact range in western China.

It was the fourth time since late July that China flight-tested its growing arsenal of long-range mobile ballistic missiles.

Asked about the latest flight test, Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to comment directly.

“The Department of Defense continues to carefully monitor China’s military modernization efforts, including progress in developing its offensive missile force,” he said.

Other defense officials said the latest test of the single-warhead DF-31A followed an advance notice by Chinese civil aviation authorities to avoid the area where the missile test was set to take place.

China’s Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Center is located in the Shanxi province, about 267 miles southwest of Beijing.

Thursday’s DF-31A test came 10 days after the flight test at Wuzhai of a silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 long-range missile, and several weeks after flight tests of a new road-mobile DF-41 ICBM, on July 24, and a submarine-launched JL-2 missile on Aug. 16.

China’s secretive military made no mention of any of the tests, although state-controlled Chinese media recently confirmed China is building the DF-41 ICBM.

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