- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

China recently test-fired a medium-range missile that contained numerous dummy warheads designed to defeat missile defenses, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
The launch of a CSS-5 medium-range missile occurred in early July from a missile base in southern China, said officials familiar with the intelligence report.
Intelligence analysts said the multiple dummy warheads on the test are a sign that Beijing's military is preparing to counter regional missile defenses in Asia such as those being worked on by Japan and the United States.
The CSS-5 was tracked from the test site to an impact range in western China after a flight of about 1,300 miles.
Satellite photographs of the impact range where the missile's dummy warheads hit showed that in addition to its main warhead, there were six or seven dummies that the Pentagon calls "penetration aids."
The dummy warheads are intended to fool the sensors of missile-defense systems that guide interceptor missiles to it.
A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the report.
The Bush administration has made building missile defenses a priority, and President Bush has withdrawn the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to help speed the development of missile-defense systems, which have been described as hitting a bullet with a bullet because of the high speeds involved.
China has been upgrading its aging CSS-2 intermediate-range missile force since the late 1990s with the more advanced CSS-5s, also known as the Dong Feng-21, or DF-21.
The missile tested earlier this month is believed to be a more advanced version of the CSS-5, known as a Mod 2.
The CSS-5 is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with an explosive yield of up to 300 kilotons, or the equivalent of 300,000 tons of TNT. It also can carry a conventional high-explosive warhead.
A 1997 report by the Air Force National Air Intelligence Center said the CSS-5 was being deployed near China's borders to provide target coverage of Russia, Central Asian nations, India, Japan, South and North Korea, and the Philippines.
The CSS-5 and CSS-2s are deployed at Tonghua, near North Korea; at Lianxiwang, near Taiwan; at Jianshui, near the China-Vietnam border; and at Datong in central China.
Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military with the Jamestown Foundation, said the DF-21 is a major weapons system for use by China against U.S. forces in Asia or against Taiwan.
Mr. Fisher said the warhead on the CSS-5 is precision-guided and probably uses Global Positioning System satellites to find its targets.
"We've known since 1996 that this missile had a terminally guided warhead that is capable of extreme accuracy," Mr. Fisher said. "The emergence of penetration aids all points to the [CSS-5] as a highly survivable and accurate missile that will have the capability of defeating future American theater missile defenses."
Mr. Fisher said the CSS-5 is part of a Chinese missile buildup that includes hundreds of CSS-6 and CSS-7 short-range missiles that have been deployed opposite Taiwan.
A Pentagon report made public July 12 stated that China's missile buildup began before Beijing saw the deployment of U.S. missile defenses.
"But China likely will take measures to improve its ability to defeat the defense system in order to preserve its strategic deterrent," the report said. "The measures likely will include improved penetration packages for its [intercontinental ballistic missiles], an increase in the number of deployed ICBMs, and perhaps development of a multiple-warhead system for an ICBM, most likely for the CSS-4."
The most likely regional missile defense to be deployed by U.S. forces in Asia is the sea-based Navy system built around Aegis battle-management systems on guided-missile cruisers and destroyers.
Japan's government is researching a sea-based missile defense for its Aegis ships, and Taiwan's government also has called for developing a joint missile defense with the United States and Japan to defend against China's missiles.
The Pentagon report said the Chinese military's Second Artillery, the branch in charge of missiles, "is continuing the replacement of the liquid-propellant CSS-2 [intermediate-range ballistic missiles] with the solid-propellant, mobile CSS-5 [medium-range ballistic missile]."
The CSS-2 also has been viewed by defense analysts as a weapon for China's military to use against U.S. warships, including aircraft carriers.
The report also said China is extending the range of its long-range missiles.
"China is in the midst of a ballistic-missile modernization program that is improving its force, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in all classes of missiles," the 56-page Pentagon report said.
"This modernization program will improve both China's nuclear deterrence by increasing the number of warheads that can target the United States, as well as improving its operational capabilities for contingencies in East Asia," the report said.
The Taipei Times reported on July 15 that China test-launched two CSS-5 missiles from mobile launchers in Jiangxi province, in south-central China, to target sites in Gansu province in the northwest. The newspaper quoted unidentified defense sources.
U.S. intelligence officials said only one of the launched CSS-5s was tracked.
The Pentagon report stated that China will replace by mid-decade all 20 of its older CSS-4 intercontinental ballistic missiles with longer-range versions known as CSS-4 Mod 2s. China also is developing three new solid-fuel ICBMs, known as the DF-31, extended-range DF-31 and a submarine-launched DF-31.
The first DF-31 has been flight-tested successfully several times, and the two newer variants will be deployed sometime in the middle to later years of this decade, the report said.

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