China used its 70th anniversary national parade to unveil a supersonic, nuclear-capable missile designed to test the US missile defense system.
The People’s Liberation Army showed off at least 16 Dongfeng-41 missiles and transports as part of the parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The Dongfeng-41 is believed to be the world’s longest-ranged intercontinental weapon, which can strike targets 9,320 miles away, the Center for Strategic & International Studies think tank said.
Other defense analysts told the AP they believe the missile will travel at “25 times the speed of sound” and can reach the US in just 30 minutes.
The three-stage, solid-fuel missiles can carry a payload of 10 warheads each, Xu Guangyu, senior adviser to China’s Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told.
The Dongfeng-41 could pose a legitimate threat to the US’s missile defense system.
This is because the Dongfeng, which means “east wind” in Chinese, carries decoy missiles that can deceive missile-defense systems into targeting them instead of the actual warheads, according to reports.
This feature had been added to bypass defense systems like the US’ Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the nation’s primary defense against long-range attacks.
China’s Xinhua state news agency has also called the missile “the country’s most advanced and powerful deterrent.”
Tuesday’s massive military parade involved 15,000 troops, 580 tanks, and 160 fighter aircraft.
Chinese authorities ordered residents to vacate their apartments and banned the flying of kites, lanterns, and homing pigeons to make way for the parade.