The DF-21 (Dong Feng-21, CSS-5) is a medium-range, road-mobile ballistic missile. In service because 1991, it was China’s first road-mobile missile to usage solid propellant. China has developed brand-new DF-21 variants, including a dual nuclear/conventional qualified variant (DF-21C) and also another designed as an antiship ballistic missile (DF-21D). In2016, the U.S room of Defense revealed a brand-new nuclear variant, the DF-21E CSS-5 mode 6)


DF-21 in ~ a Glance source From China own by China, Saudi Arabia alternating Names CSS-5 Variants DF-21A/B/C/D (CSS-5 mode 2/3/4/5) course Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) Basing Road-mobile transporter erector launcher size 10.7 m Diameter 1.4 m Launch weight 14,700 kg Payload 600 kg Warhead 250 or 500 kT nuclear or traditional high-explosive Propulsion Two-stage solid propellant range 2,150 km standing Operational In business 1991
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DF-21 ~ above a mobile launcher.

DF-21 advancement

It s a variant of the CSS-N-3 (JL-1) submarine-launched system that changed the Dong Feng-2 (CSS-1) in the early on 1980s. The Dong Feng 21’s solid-propellant system considerably increases its business life and also mobility while decreasing its maintenance cost and also launch time. The Dong Feng 21 represented a shift in the PRC far from liquid fueled designs.1Due come its solid propellant and Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) automobile launch system. It can be conveniently transported and also has a brief launch time, permitting it to it is in deployed throughout a rapidly changing military situation, adding to the tactical effectiveness.2 The Dong Feng 21 have the right to deploy a 600 kg payload through a minimum range of 500 kilometres (311 miles) and also a maximum range of 2,150 km. It have the right to be equipped with a single reentry auto that can be equipped through a 250 or 500 kT productivity nuclear device. It uses an inertial guidance device that is capable of striking v an accuracy of 700 m CEP. It has actually a length of 10.7 m, a diameter that 1.4 m and also a launch load of 14,700 kg. The missile provides a two-stage hard propellant motor.3This missile started advance in the so late 1960s. The an initial Dong Feng 21 test launch arisen in 1985 and it came to be operational in 1991. China has actually since occurred four modified execution of the DF-21 missile. Reports vary but there are most likely 80 nuclear-tipped Dongfeng-21 missiles in organization as the 20164A January 2014 post in Newsweek magazine alleged the Saudi Arabia had actually purchased numerous conventional variants the the Dongfeng-21 in 2007.5

DF-21 Variants

Designation Mission / WarheadYear Deployed
DF-21 (CSS-5)Nuclear 1991
DF-21A (CSS-5 mod 2)Nuclear 1996
DF-21C (CSS-5 mod 4)Nuclear or typical 2006
DF-21D (CSS-5)Antiship / Conventional2006
DF-21E (CSS-5 mod 6)Nuclear 2016
DF-21 Variants

DF-21A (CSS-5 mode 2)

In 1996, China began replacing the DF-21 with an enhanced version that missile referred to as the DF-21A. The variant has a modified sleep section, and measures 12.3 meters in size with a body diameter of 1.4 m, and a launch load of 15,200 kg. The DF-21A has improved accuracy over the original DF-21, apparently 50 m CEP. The very first known flight test the the DF-21A remained in 1991. It has actually since fully replaced the original DF-21A as the atom armed part It was an initial tested in 1991 and became work in 1996.6China employs 2 nonnuclear Dong Feng 21 variants, a land assault Dongfeng-21C and the anti-ship Dong Feng 21D. Deployment number are daunting to verify, and estimates range from together low as 50 come as many as 200.

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DF-21C (CSS-5 mod 4)

The DF-21C is a standard variant the the DF-21. The accuracy is supposedly 40 come 50 m CEP, through a likely selection of 2,150 km. This missile most likely entered organization in 2006 in addition to the DF-21D.7 A DOD report in 2010 declared that China deployed number of DF-21C launchers in its west provinces near Ka Aaidam and also Delingha, causing substantial alarm in India.8

DF-21D (CSS-5 mode 5)

The DF-21D is a conventionally armed DF-21 different designed to attack ships in ~ sea. Sometimes referred to as the “carrier-killer,” U.S. Reports indicate a variety a 1,450 come 1,550 km. Similar to the DF-21B, the warhead is most likely maneuverable and also may have an accuracy the 20 m CEP. This missile entered service in 2006 in addition to the DF-21C. In 2013, the missile was tested versus a delivery target that was around the very same size as modern U.S. Aircraft carriers.9
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~ above July 1, 2 U.S. Officials said NBC the China is experimentation antiship ballistic missiles in the southern China Sea. Indigenous June 30 to July 1, China authorize a notification to Airmen (NOTAM) concerning a “temporary peril area” over waters turn off Hainan and the Spratly Islands and also fired one or more missiles into the sea....


Chinese State TV announced top top November 28th that China had properly test launched ten DF-21C medium-range ballistic missiles. The nuclear capable missiles have a range of around 2,150 kilometers, making lock able to target numerous U.S. Army bases in the region, including Guam. Associated Links: China carry Out 10 Ballistic Missile flight Tests in a display of Force...


Missile hazard brings together a wide variety of information and analyses relating come the proliferation of cruise and also ballistic missiles roughly the world and also the air and also missile defense equipment designed to defeat them. Missile risk is a product of the Missile Defense job at the facility for Strategic and also International Studies.

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