The DF-16 (Dong Feng-16 / CSS-11) is a road-mobile, solid-fueled, short-range ballistic missile developed and deployed by China. It was first publicly displayed during a Chinese military parade in 2015.
DF-16 at a Glance
Originated from: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Possessed by: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Class: Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM)
Alternate names: CSS-11, CSS-11 Mod 2
Diameter: 1.2 m
Payload: 500-1,000 kg
Warhead: 1-3 HE, submunition, nuclear
Propulsion: Solid propellant
Range: 800-1,000 km
In service: 2011
Development of the DF-16 began in the mid-2000s. It was likely a replacement to China’s older DF-15 and DF-11 SRBMs, which date back to the 1990s and 1970s, respectively.1 In September 2012, the first image of the DF-16 was revealed on Chinese websites. China, however, did not officially unveil the DF-16 until a September 2015 military parade in Beijing.2
The DF-16 is a two-stage solid-fueled, road-mobile, short-range ballistic missile. It has a diameter of 1.2 m and can carry a 1,000 kg payload between 800-1,000 km. It can be equipped with up to three MIRV high explosive, nuclear, or submunition warheads.
In February 2017, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) released a video of a missile exercise, which appeared to show two distinct DF-16 variants.3 One version, likely the original, had a more aerodynamic bullet-shaped fuselage, while the other appeared to be a newer variant with a potentially maneuverable warhead featuring fins on the upper stage.4
Reports from Taiwanese officials and Chinese media suggest the missile had already been operational for several years prior to its official unveiling in 2015. The DF-16 likely entered service in 2011-2012.5 It is currently deployed to the PLA Rocket Force in Guangdong Province, which puts Taiwan and Vietnam within its targeting range.6 According to one 2017 report, China has deployed 12 DF-16s.7