Ukraine was 'has been a wake up call' for China says expert
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The so-called “doomsday” trains are reportedly part of China’s development of a possible new military strategy. According to a Government-funded study published yesterday, engineers assessed the logistics of transporting Beijing’s elite DF-41 nuclear-capable missile trains. The terrifying missiles reportedly weigh around 80 tonnes.
They are also said to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads up to 9,300 miles from the launchpad.
The engineers claimed that transporting these missiles on trains could better conceal them.
That is because rail-based launches are more difficult to detect due to the fact that the weapons would constantly be on the move.
This method may also boost the efficiency of launches, with any damage to rails from enemy strikes able to be repaired quickly.
This comes after China tested a mobile DF-41 from a railway back in 2015.
But there is no current evidence to suggest that China has constructed a rail-based platform to launch from.
The researchers wrote in the Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University: ”Compared with heavy-haul railways, high-speed railways operate faster and more smoothly.
“This means that on high-speed rails, the mobility, safety and concealment of military vehicles would be greater.”
According to prof Yin Zihong, the study leader who is head of the Chinese government’s national research project, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) could be squeezed inside a carriage upon launch.
He said that the weight of the ICBMs would create a thrust that equate to two to four times the maximum loading capacity of the train.
It is understood that the DF-41 missiles have the longest range of any nuclear missile in the world.
And because China has been constructing an extensive high-speed rail network, it has created “favourable conditions” to launch the missiles from, according to the researchers.
In fact, one of China’s latest prototypes is expected to reach a top speed in excess of 620kph (380mph).
The Maglev train technology China has been working on is a 21 metre long (69 feet) prototype running on high-temperature superconducting (HTS) power.
According to Prof He Chuan, vice president of Southwest Jiaotong University, the train could become “operational” within 3 to 10 years.
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This would add to the high-speed rail network that the country has been building over the last 20 years.
It now claims the top spot for the fastest rail network on the globe, ahead of Spain and Japan.
But according to the report, the high-speed trains that will carry the nuclear missiles will zoom at a top speed of 217mph.
According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, China has “produced a stockpile of approximately 350 nuclear warheads for delivery by approximately 280 operational land-based ballistic missiles, 72 sea-based ballistic missiles, and 20 nuclear gravity bombs assigned to bombers”.
The nuclear experts warned that China has been significantly ramping up its nuclear weapons programme by “developing and fielding more types and greater numbers of nuclear weapons than ever before”.
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