Editor’s note: The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists, and Matt Korda, a research associate with the project. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.
To download a free PDF of this article, click here.
To see all previous Nuclear Notebook columns, click here.
China continues the nuclear weapons modernization program that it initiated in the 1980s and increased in the 1990s and 2000s, fielding more types and greater numbers of nuclear weapons than ever before. Since our previous Nuclear Notebook on China in June 2019, China has continued fielding the DF-26—a dual-capable, mobile, intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM)—and is replacing older road-mobile DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers with the more maneuverable DF-31AG launcher. China is also in the process of fielding the new DF-41, a road-mobile ICBM that is thought to be capable of carrying multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) like the old DF-5B. At sea, China has completed construction and deployment of two more ballistic missile submarines and is developing a new type. Additionally, China has recently reassigned a nuclear mission to its bombers and is developing an air-launched ballistic missile that might have nuclear capability.
Read the whole story here: Nuclear notebook: Chinese nuclear forces, 2020 – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists