Deployment of the DF-3 intermediate range missile (IRBM) began in 1971 reaching a peak of 110 by 1984, then shrinking to 50 in 1993. It is estimated by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) that there were 16 missiles and 8 launchers in operation as of 2006.According to the DOD, the DF-3A variant, deployed from 1988, represents the primary Chinese stategic missile system. It is currently being retired and was inaccurately predicted to have been removed from the strategic missile arsenal of China in 2002. In 1987 China sold several dozen (reportedly between 36 and 60) outmoded DF-3 missiles to Saudi Arabia, minus their nuclear warheads.

Country Name Origin Year
China 1971
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
China 1971 1971 View
Saudi Arabia 1988 1988 View

Deployment of the missile began in 1971, reaching a peak of 110 by 1984, then shrinking to 50 in 1993. It was estimated by the U.S. DoD that there were 17 missiles and 10 launchers in operation as of 2010 under a single brigade. By May 2014, it appeared that the last unit operating the DF-3A completed conversion to the DF-21 missile from satellite photos of changes to the launch unit site.

The DF-26, with a range of up to 4000 km, is replacing the DF-3A, being able to hit Guam.

General Information
Developed by China
Deployed by China, Saudi Arabia
Development Year 1964(DF-3),1980s(DF-3A)
Deployment Year 1971, 1988
Retirement Year Unknown Targets
central and eastern Asia, Japan, India, US bases in the Philippine Islands Platform
silo and TEL Launcher
mobile trailer-erector Number deployed
150-200(peak:1984), 30-40(current) Design
First Academy of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry

Dimensions and Performance
Length 21.2m
Body Diameter 2.25m
Launch Weight 64,000kg
Range 2,800km(DF-3A), 2,500km(DF-3)
Speed 4.7km/sec
Accuracy 1,000m CEP(DF-3A), 2,000-3,000m CEP(DF-3)

Propulsion 1-stage liquid-fuel rocket motor
Engine a cluster of 4 YF-2 engines(total thrust of 96 tonnes)
Payload single warhead 2,000kg(DF-3A), 2,150kg(DF-3)
Warhead 1-3MT nuclear warhead or 2,500kg conventional HE(for Saudi Arabia)
Guidance inertial (in the early days,used a ground-based radio-command)

End notes