WS2400 Heavy Duty Truck and DF-11
Wanshan Special Vehicle Factory, a subordinated company of China Sanjiang Space Group in Yinbin, Hubei Province began to reverse-engineer the Russian MAZ543 missile transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle in the mid-1980s. The project led to the introduction of the WS2400 8X8 heavy duty vehicle, which was initially used as the TEL vehicle of China’s DF-11 (CSS-7) short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system. Initial development of the vehicle encountered some technical difficulties, but these were later solved under the assistance of Belarus in the late 1990s.
The WS2400 bears strong resemblance to the MAZ543 in appearance, but is possibly powered by a German-designed diesel engine. The vehicle is available in 6X6, 10X8, and 12X12 configurations.
The DF-11 (export name: M-11; NATO codename: CSS-7) is a road-mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system developed by CASIC Sanjiang Space Group (also known as Base 066) in Hubei Province. The missile and its 8-wheeled transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle bear some resemblance to the Russian SS-1C Scud-B. The missile was originally developed for export market, but was later adopted by the PLA in the early 1990s as a tactical theatre missile for its ground forces.
The DF-11A (CSS-7 Mod-2) is an improved variant of the DF-11/M-11 with extended range and greater accuracy.In the late 1970s, Sanjiang Space Group began to develop China’s first tactical short-range ballistic missile, which was officially designated DF-11 by the PLA in the early 1980s. Sanjiang demonstrated the missile and its 8X8 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle to the PLA in 1987, and the first test launch of the missile took place in 1990.
The DF-11/M-11 was initially designed for the export market, with its specifications specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which restricts the export of delivery systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying more than 500kg payload over a range of 300km or above.The development of the improved DF-11A began in 1993 under the support of the PLA. As well as featuring extended range (over 500km), the missile is highlighted by its greater accuracy as a result of the introduction of GPS guidance technology. The first test launch took place successfully on 6 October 1997. However, during the second test launch held few days later, the missile lost control shorting after taking off. The has caused a major setback in the DF-11A programme, with the missile’s design certification postponed to mid-1998. The DF-11A entered the PLA service possibly in 1998/99.
Unlike the DF-15 (M-9, CSS-6) SRBM system fielded by the PLA Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force) in the 1990s, the DF-11 was intended to be deployed by ground forces as a conventional long-range weapon to fulfil the gap in firing range between an artillery rocket system (50~100km) and a strategic surface-to-surface missile (over 600km). Nanjing Military Region deployed the PLA’s first operational DF-11 missile brigade (with 20~30 missile launch systems) in the late 1990s. The 2007 US DoD Report to the Congress estimated that by 2007 a total of 575~625 DF-11 missiles and 110~130 launcher systems could have been deployed, most of which are located near the Taiwan Strait.
The DF-11 is a road-mobile single-stage, solid-propellant, short-range ballistic missile. The basic variant DF-11 has a range of 280~350km and delivers a single-warhead of 500kg. The improved DF-11A has an extended range of over 500~700km. As well as conventional high-explosive (HE) warhead, the missile may also be able to carry unconventional warhead such as fuel-air explosive (FAE), sub-munitions, and chemical agents. It may also be able to carry tactical nuclear warhead of 2~20kT yield.
The basic variant DF-11 uses an inertial guidance + terminal radar guidance, giving a circular error probability (CEP) of 500~600m . The improved DF-11A uses inertial/GPS guidance system with optical correlation terminal targeting, resulting in an greater accuracy of below 200m CEP.
The missile is launched from a 8X8 WAS2400 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle, to provide full road and cross-country mobility. The vehicle was developed by Wanshan Special Vehicle Manufactory, a Sanjiang subordinate company, in the early 1980s based on the Russian MAZ543 TEL vehicle.The Export of the DF-11 Technology
In 1992 US satellites provided images showing M-11 missile canisters being delivered at Sargodha air base near Lahore, Pakistan. The Clinton administration concluded that China may have already transferred the M-11 missile system and its technology to Pakistan, though no direct evidence was provided. In August 1993 the US announced its sanction against China for selling missile components to Pakistan that were barred under the MTCR. As a result of this sanction, US-made sensitive high-tech equipment and components were banned from being sold to China, and Chinese space industry were banned from launching US-made commercial satellites for foreign customers. This sanction was lifted in 1994.
Pakistan developed Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 missile systems on the basis of the M-11 design, but with a much extended range (600~700km). A further 30 to 50 missiles and TEL vehicles may have been delivered to Iran in 1995 with the objective of setting up a final assembly and maybe even full production capability, but this report cannot be confirmed. It is possible that Iran may obtained some M-11 missile technology from other sources to develop its own solid-fuel mobile missile system.
Additionally Iran has also developed its own indigenous SRBM systems which appears to be similar to the M-11 .
Length: 7.5m (DF-11); 8.5m (DF-11A)
Launch weight: 4,200kg
Propellant: Solid fuel
Guidance: Inertial (DF-11); Inertial + GPS (DF-11A)
Range: 280~350km (DF-11); >500km (DF-11A)
Deployment: Road mobile, 8X8 crosscountry chassis
Warhead: 500kg HE
Accuracy: CEP 500~600m (DF-11); <200m (DF-11A)
Launch preparation time: 15~30 min