For us in Oregon, the world is becoming a bit more dangerous. From the NY Times article “China Is Said to Be Bolstering Missile Capabilities” by Keith Bradsher (here):
China is moving ahead with the development of a new and more capable generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles, increasing its existing ability to deliver nuclear warheads to the United States and to overwhelm missile defense systems, military analysts said this week.
Over all, China’s steady strengthening of its military capabilities for conventional and nuclear warfare has long caused concern in Congress and among American allies in East Asia, particularly lately as China has taken a more assertive position regarding territorial claims in the East China and South China Seas.
The Global Times, a newspaper directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, reported Wednesday that China was developing the capability to put multiple warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. But the newspaper disputed a report in Jane’s Defense Weekly that the latest Chinese ICBM, the Dongfeng-41, had been tested last month.
Larry M. Wortzel, of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a panel created by Congress, said that China was developing the capability to put as many as 10 nuclear warheads on an ICBM, although dummy warheads could be substituted for some of the nuclear warheads. The dummy warheads would have heat and electromagnetic devices designed to trick missile defense systems, he said.
China has separately tested submarine-launched missiles in recent weeks, which it could use to outflank American missile detection systems, Mr. Wortzel said. Most of the radar arrays that the United States has deployed against ballistic missiles were built during the cold war to detect attacks over polar routes.
The scale of China’s strategic missile program is much more secret. The Pentagon estimates that China currently has 55 to 65 ICBMs. China is also preparing two submarines for deployment, each with 12 missiles aboard, Mr. Wortzel said.