Expert: Dongfeng-31A missile on duty for war preparedness

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-01-20 15:55

BEIJING, Jan. 19 (ChinaMil) -- CCTV reported that a missile brigade of the PLA Rocket Force recently had field training in extremely cold weather conditions, and the Dongfeng-31A transcontinental ballistic missile appeared at the training site.

According to the chief of staff of a missile brigade under the PLA Rocket Force, the field training this time is to adapt to the most complicated and difficult wartime conditions.

The Dongfeng-31A transcontinental ballistic missile appeared in the video of the CCTV. Foreign media reported that as a strategic weapon of China, the Dongfeng-31A has been seldom seen in official videos and photos.

Yin Zhuo, director of Chinese Navy Information Technology Advisory Committee, pointed out that the appearance of Dongfeng-31A indicates the greater transparency in China's military construction and military equipment development, which is the foundation to establish military and security trust with surrounding countries and major powers in the world.

On the other hand, he continued, it also denotes that the requirement to "fight and win battles" has been implemented in every cell, unit and combat element of the Chinese military.

"There is no sign of a nuclear war at the moment, but we still need to hone our nuclear deterrence and counterattack capability in a realistic environment", Yin stressed.

According to Du Wenlong from the PLA Academy of Military Science, this training has two major breakthroughs.

First, the training was carried out in the field rather than a training base, which is completely different from the previous training models that were subject to extreme weather conditions.

Many missiles of the PLA Rocket Force are in closed structure and require specific temperature, humidity and other conditions, otherwise the missiles' technical status would change and they wouldn't be able to accomplish tasks. Whether the personnel and equipment can carry out normal work, training and war preparedness in extreme conditions is a huge test for the troops.

Second, the training was carried out in a remote location instead of a nearby one in order to test the support capability in extreme conditions.

For instance, the PLA Rocket Force needs detailed supportive conditions to determine where the target is, where and when to launch the missiles. How to provide support smoothly in extreme weather conditions and far away from the base and the computing system is also a major challenge faced by the troops. There is also the issue of vehicle and missile maintenance and how to put up defense at times of enemy attack.

"These are tremendous and all-round tests for the equipment and the troops," Du Wenlong added.

When asked if the report on the training of Dongfeng-31A means this missile is capable of real combat, Yin Zhuo gave a positive answer.

The appearance of Dongfeng-31A in the field and its field operation indicates that its real-combat capability is beyond doubt. Since it was equipped in the troops, this missile has entered the real-combat stage and can be on duty for war preparedness.

The author is Qiu Yue, reporter from the People’s Daily Online.

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