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The three-stage solid-fuel DF-41 is larger than the DF-31 missile, and has a range of up to 12,000 kilometers. While no information has been published concerning the configuration of this missile, the most straightforward path towards its development would be the addition of an enlarged third stage to the DF-31 ICBM. The larger third stage and longer range of the DF-41 is made possible by the fact that, unlike the DF-31, the size of the DF-41 is not constrained by the requirement that it be fitted into a submarine launch tube. The DF-41 strategic weapons system will have a mobile launch capability providing greatly improved survivability compared with previous Chinese intercontinental missiles. It is anticipated that the DF-41 will be delivered to the 2d Artillery around the year 2010.

In the absence of flight testing, the final operational configuration of this solid fueled missile remains uncertain, particularly with respect to the length of the third stage. However, this derivative of the DF-31 would be unlikely to have a throwweight in excess of 1000 kgs, and most estimates are in the range of 800 kg. Some estimates anticipate that, as with previous Chinese ICBMs, the DF-41 will carry only a single warhead [with a 0.35 - 1.0 MT yield]. In any event, depending on the weapon's yield, it seems unlikely that China would be able to mount more than a few lower-yield [50-100 KT ?] RVs on this ICBM. The American Minuteman III has 3 RVs and a throwweight of 1100 kgs at 12,900 kms, while the MX Peacekeeper carries 10 RVs and has a throwweight of 3950 kgs at 11,000 kms. Both American missiles carry warheads with yields of a few hundred kilotons.


ContractorAcademy of Rocket Motors Technology - ARMT
OperatorSecond Artillery Corps
ConfigurationThree Stage
Length [meters]~15?
Diameter [meters]2.0
Mass [kilograms]30,000??
First Flightxx
DeploymentSilo or mobile
Range (km)10,000 - 12,000
Re-entry Vehicle Mass (kg)800-1,000 [?]
Warhead Yield1 @ 0.35 - 1.0 MT or
3-6 @ 50-100 KT
CEP (meters)700 - 800 ??
Launch Preparation Time3-5 minutes

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