Friday, April 06, 2012

Satellite images suggest changes at Chinese missile base

Despite ‘warming ties’ between Taiwan and China, the PLA is proceeding with the modernization of its ballistic missile forces targeting the island

Recent satellite images of a short-range missile base in China's Fujian province show signs of possible modernization efforts after an expected change in command structure.

Citing unnamed military sources, in late March US media said the images of Xianyou, in eastern Fujian, indicated that construction of a new missile base was nearly finished and that the People's Liberation Army had deployed its latest short-range missile there. However, sources have told IHS Jane's that the activity was more likely modernization of an existing ballistic missile brigade for ground support units, with DF-11As replacing older and shorter-range DF-11s and the brigade falling under control of the Second Artillery Corps.

My article, published on April 5 in Jane's Defence Weekly, can be accessed here (subscription required). My take for the Taipei Times, published on April 6, is here.

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