China’s next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of striking anywhere in the world with nuclear warheads, is expected to be ready during the first half of next year.
Dongfeng-41 missile, which is said to have the longest range of any ballistic rockets in the world, has undergone its eighth test and is now near completion, MailOnline reported.
Previous reports have claimed that the missile has a range of at least 7,500 miles (12,000km) and could carry up to 10 nuclear warheads.
The new missile also has a speed of more than Mach 10 (7,672mph) and can use decoy devices to find it way through the enemy’s missile defence systems.
“It can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, each of which can target separately,” Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association told Global Times.
The missile must have “matured considerably” if it is to be operational in 2018, Guangyu said.
“Once the Dongfeng-41 goes into service, China’s ability to protect its own safety and to prevent wars would greatly increase,” he added.
Reports suggest the missile’s most recent test took place this month.
State-run media claim tests took place in its Western desert area but the exact location has not been revealed.
In July, a video from China claimed that Beijing owns about 2,500 ballistic missiles.
In the video, Dongfeng-41 is highlighted as one of the “world’s top five intercontinental missiles”.