Dong Feng 31 (DF-31/DF-31A/CSS-10)

The Dong Feng 31 (CSS-10 Mod 1) is an intercontinental-range, road- and rail-mobile, three-stage solid propellant ballistic missile. Development on the Dong Feng 31 began in 1970 alongside the missile’s submarine-based counterpart, the JL-2.1 These missiles were deployed in 2006 and the Chinese have an estimated 8 launchers and warheads.2

Dong Feng 31 At a Glance

Originated From: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Possessed By: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Class: Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)
Basing: Road/rail-mobile
Length: 13.0 or 16.0 m
Diameter: 2.0 m (1st/2nd stages), 1.5 m (3rd stage)
Launch Weight: 42,000 kg
Payload: Single warhead, nuclear
Warhead: Nuclear 1-3 MT
Propulsion: Three-stage solid propellant
Range: 8,000-11,700 km
Status: Operational
In Service: 2006

dong feng 31The Dong Feng 31 is estimated to have a length of 13.0 m, a diameter of 2.25 m, and a launch weight of 42,000 kg. Conflicting reports have placed the maximum range of this missile between 7,000 and 11,700 km.3 The warhead assembly is expected to have a payload of 1,050 to 1,750 kg with a single 1 MT nuclear warhead. While accuracy is expected to be around 300 m CEP, several reports have suggested that a silo-launched missile would have an accuracy of 100 m CEP and a TEL-launched missile would have an accuracy of 150 m CEP.4
As of 2016, it is estimated that China deploys eight DF-31 ICBMs.5

Dong Feng 31A

The PRC also developed an improved version of the DF-31 called the DF-31A (CSS-10 Mod 2). Production likely began in the late-to-mid 1990s or during the original missile’s development. First tested in 1999, The DF-31A was deployed in 2007 and has a range of over 11,000 km. This version uses a significantly longer third-stage motor to bring the missile to a total length of 18.4m. This missile has the same diameter in its first and second motor stages as the DF-31, while the lengthened third stage is narrower at 1.5 m in diameter. The overall launch weight is believed to be 63,000 kg.6

As of 2016, China has an estimated 25 DF-31A launchers deployed with the Second Artillery Corps of the PLA.7

Sources

  1. “DF-31,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, ed. James C. O’Halloran (United Kingdom: IHS, 2015), 18-21.
  2. Ibid. & Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2016,” Bulletin of American Scientists, Vol. 72, Issue 4, 2016, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00963402.2016.1194054.
  3. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2016.”
  4. “DF-31,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, 18-21.
  5. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2016.”
  6. Military Today, “DF-31A,” http://www.military-today.com/missiles/df31a.htm.
  7. “DongFeng 31A (CSS-9) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile,” Sino Defence, http://www.sinodefence.com/strategic/missile/df31.asp & Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2016.”
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