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Soviet and Chinese ICBMs

Soviet and Chinese ICBMs

The first Soviet SS-6 (Sapwood) ICBM was deployed in 1959. Early Soviet ICBMs carried warheads with extremely large explosive powers. The SS-9, for example, carried a warhead of up to 25 MT. Later Soviet ICBMs carried less-powerful warheads. The warheads on later Soviet ICBMs have explosive powers of about 500 KT.

The Soviet Union began deploying MIRVs in 1979, the vast SS-18 and SS-24 ICBMs each carrying ten. SS-24 and SS-25 ICBMs which carry a single warhead are mobile-the former being transportable on railways and the latter on roads. Other types of US and Soviet ICBMs are in fixed hardened (heavily protected) silos.

China probably deploys about 17 ICBMs consisting of 7 DF-5s (first deployed in 1981) and about 10 DF-4s (first deployed in 1979), each carrying a single warhead with an explosive power of at least 2 MT.

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