China Unveils new Dongfeng-11AZT Ballistic Missile for the First Time
China has unveiled its Dongfeng-11AZT (DF-11AZT), an upgrade of the Dongfeng-11 (DF-11) short-range ballistic missiles, via the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday.
The new tactical ballistic missile, which was developed in response to the demand for modern warfare, employs a more sophisticated technology than its predecessor. Although its warhead weighs 500 kilograms, it can be launched within five minutes via an amphibian truck using solid fuel. It also boasts of accuracy, reporting a margin error of only around 200 meters.
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This is not the first instance that China flaunted its weapon to the public. When tensions on the Korean Peninsula started to rise in February, Beijing conducted a drill with its new Dongfeng-16. The country is set to conduct a launching ceremony for its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the Shandong.
Recently, People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's Xining warship also test-fired its weapon for the first time in the Yellow Sea to allegedly prepare its crew for a battle. Video footage showed that the crew members were conducting a counter attack drill while firing missiles into the waters.
The Daily Star noted that the drill's timing would only contribute to the rising tension in the area after Pyongyang's vice-foreign minister Han Song-Ryol threatened an "all-out war." However, a former non-commissioned officer of the PLA, said that "The Korean Peninsula is like an eastern gate of China. If things get into trouble, there will be a major setback in the country's plan to join the ranks of the developed countries by 2025."
"Therefore, China won't allow any chaos, such as local war. The Chinese military has every reason to do so," he added. That being said, it appears that China will attempt to try to reduce pressure on the Korean peninsula by flaunting its new weapons systems, Huffington Post reported.