Encyclopedia Astronautica
DF-2



df2beiji.jpg
DF-2
DF-2 displayed at People's Army Museum, Beijing
First Chinese IRBM, a single stage missile with the objective of carrying a 1500 kg warhead to Japan. The starting point for the design were R-12 construction drawings and a single exemplar of the missile provided by the Soviet Union prior to the break with Moscow in 1960. Following protracted development the design was accepted by the Chinese military for service in 1970.

The first launch failure in 1962 led to a two year delay and a complete redesign.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • DF-2 First Chinese IRBM, a single stage missile with the objective of carrying a 1500 kg warhead to Japan. The starting point for the design were R-12 construction drawings and a single exemplar of the missile provided by the Soviet Union prior to the break with Moscow in 1960. Following protracted development the design was accepted by the Chinese military for service in 1970. More...
  • DF-2A Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. Extended-range version of DF-2. The missile featured reduced thrust, but 20% more range, and used autonomous gyroscopic guidance in place of the DF-2's radio system. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Jiuquan China's first launch center, also known as Shuang Cheng Tzu. Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, situated at 100 degrees East, 41 degrees North, is located in the Jiuquan Region, Gansu province, north-western China. It was China's first ballistic missile and satellite launch centre. More...

DF-2 Chronology


1958 September 19 - . LV Family: DF-2; R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1; DF-3 Tsien.
  • Missile development plans set. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: Fifth Academy finalizes plan to proceed development of indigenous Dong Feng missiles (original DF-1, DF-2, DF-3 designations).

1959 June 20 - . LV Family: DF-2; Kosmos 2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Decision to withhold R-12 and nuclear warhead drawing package from China over Sidewinder affair - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. The Soviet Central Committee advises China it will not provide prototype or drawings of atomic bombs as agreed previously. Khrushchev promised China that he would provide the drawing package for the R-12 IRBM as soon as testing was completed. However then came the affair of the Sidewinder. At the end of 1958 or early 1959 a complete missile fell into the hands of the Chinese. They promised to provide it to the Russians, but then dragged their feet. They were finally told in February 1959 that unless they provided the Sidewinder, they would not be given the R-12 package. The missile was finally delivered but it was found that the key crystal in the infrared homing sensor was missing. The Chinese had also been caught disassembling a P-15 cruise missile at a training facility in China. It had taken the Russian trainers two days to get it reassembled correctly. Therefore on June 20 1959 the decision was taken not to transfer the R-12 or the promised nuclear warhead design to China.

    The Soviets created a new design bureau to copy the Sidewinder. Fabrication of the crystal for the infrared sensor was the main obstacle. The initial production batches had a 99% rejection rate. A state commission was set up to get to the bottom of the problem, but couldn’t find a solution. The main problem seemed to be low-quality ore provided by the mines.


1960 August 12 - . LV Family: DF-2; Kosmos 2; R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Soviet/China break. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. In the preceding months relations between the Soviet advisors and Chinese engineers had been strained by increasing Soviet secrecy. The Russians catch Chinese students at the Moscow Aviation Institute stealing restricted missile data. Finally Khrushchev declared the suspension of military assistance to China. All 1,343 Soviet specialists are withdrawn from the Fifth Academy in Beijing and return to Russia. They leave behind 343 uncompleted contracts. A total of 257 technical development projects were cancelled as a result.

1960 August 23 - . LV Family: DF-2; Kosmos 2; R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Last Russian advisers leave China. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: The last Russian technical advisers are withdrawn from China..

1962 March 21 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2. FAILURE: Failure of guidance and engine mounting. Impacted after 69 seconds of flight.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). First DF-2 launch attempt. The rocket impacted the earth after only 69 seconds of flight. Fundamental design errors were discovered in calculating flexing of the rocket in flight, placement of the guidance system, and engine mounting. The missile was completely redesigned for reduced thrust.

1964 June 29 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Summary: This followed a two-year complete redesign and test program following the first launch failure in 1962. The reduced-thrust missile had a range of 1050 km with a 1550 kg warhead, barely enough to reach Japan..

1964 July 9 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1964 July 11 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1964 September 12 - . LV Family: CZ; DF-2; DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-1; DF-3 Tsien; DF-4.
  • Chinese missiles redesignated and new development plan adopted. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Tsien had conducted a series of meetings with the Chinese leadership during the year to redefine China's missile development plans. There are clashes between Tsien, who favours an American engineering approach, and his staff, who were trained in Russian and favour the Soviet approach. Finally the missiles were defined by their target objectives, and a new development plan was adopted, with definite goals. The 1059 missile (copy of Russian R-2) was redesignated DF-1. The DF-2 was to be improved to carry an atomic bomb to a range sufficient to hit Japan. The DF-3 ICBM was cancelled, and the new DF-3 project would involve development of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the Philippines (earlier referred to as the DF-1). The DF-4 was to be capable of hitting Guam, and the DF-5 would be an ICBM capable of reaching the United States. The DF-2, DF-3 and DF-4 would use strap-down accelerometer guidance packages, while the DF-5 was to be equipped with a full-fledged inertial guidance unit.

1964 October 16 - . LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • First Chinese atomic bomb tested. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March. Summary: The warhead had a yield of 20 kilotons..

1964 November 4 - . LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • Go-ahead for DF-2A. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: Decision to proceed with DF-2A extended range version of DF-2.

November 1965 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • First successful test of DF-2A. - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Summary: First launch of redesigned DF-2. The flight demonstrated a 20% improvement in range for the same 1500 kg payload, and replaced the radio guidance of the DF-2 with an autonoumous gyroscopic system..

1966 October 27 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: DF-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • Nuclear test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). DF-2A launched with a 1290 kg, 12 kt warhead from Jiuquan flew over a range of 800 km to Lop Nor, where the warhead successfully exploded. The Ninth Academy was responsible for development of the nuclear package. Tsien protégé Guo Yonghuai was the liaison between the Fifth and Ninth Academies for the development.

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