Satellite Image Capture China’s New Ballistic Missile Silo ‘Field’

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WASHINGTON China is reportedly building a network of nuclear silos in the country’s remote eastern Xinjiang province. This is the data provided by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

Nuclear experts from the non-profit global think tank who studied satellite imagery of the geospatial data firm Planet Labs suspect that construction may have started this March.

At least 14 silos appear to have been found, with 19 areas potentially open to other construction.

Overall, scientists claim, at least 110 silos can be placed in the desert area. The scientists added that underground silos are usually used to contain Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) designed for the delivery of nuclear weapons.

China’s ICBMs could potentially carry more than 875 warheads (assuming three warheads per missile) when the Yumen and Hami missile silo fields are completed,” wrote FAS researchers Matt Korda and Hans M. 2021).

This number is up from the estimated 185 existing warheads.

“The construction of silos at Yumen and Hami represents the most significant expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal ever,” the FAS study underscores.

This is the second report of a silo field discovered via commercial satellite imagery in recent weeks. Last month 119 silos under construction were revealed near Yumen in China’s northwestern Gansu province, according to a report in The Washington Post, citing satellite images from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey.

Also read: China Builds 145 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Silos That Can Reach US

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