NEWSROOM AMERICA STAFF
The Chinese are continuing to test new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, conducting the fourth such flight test of an upgraded DF-31A last week, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The online newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, said U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the latest flight test, which was launched from China’s Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center to an impact range in the country’s west.
The test was the fourth since July of upgraded, road-mobile Chinese ICBMs. Experts note that road-mobile missiles are much harder to target than silo-based weapons.
The Beacon said Pentagon officials would not comment directly on the test.
“The Department of Defense continues to carefully monitor China’s military modernization efforts, including progress in developing its offensive missile force,” said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman.
Earlier this summer, the Chinese military tested a road-mobile version of the DF-41 ICBM. U.S. intelligence analysts believe the DF-41 will eventually be armed with anywhere from three to 10 warheads.
The DF-31A has been deployed since the early 2000s and is believed to have a range of about 7,000 miles, which is enough distance to give Beijing the capability to strike Washington, D.C., and European capitals.
© 2012 Newsroom America.