Missile Silo Fields:
Satellite images have revealed that China is building at least three missile silo fields in Yumen in Gansu province, near Hami in Xinjiang province, and at Hanggin Banner, Ordos City, in Inner Mongolia.
- It appears that China is constructing around 120 missile silos at Yumen, around 110 silos in Hami, and 29 in the Hanggin Banner field. Earlier this year, 16 missile silos were detected in the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force’s (PLARF) Jilantai training area, also in Inner Mongolia.
- For several decades before these discoveries in 2021, China operated only 20 missile silos for its DF-5 liquid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
- On completion of the ongoing work, China could have 250-270 new missile silos, more than 10 times the number it had maintained for several decades.
- Some Chinese political scientists believe this could be China’s attempt to move towards a launch-on-warning (LOW) nuclear posture. LOW refers to a launch at an adversary on detection of an incoming missile before the adversary’s missile hits its target.
- It enables China to achieve its goal of increasing its nuclear warhead stockpile.
- The guess is that China could use these silos as decoys.