The Dong-Feng 15 (a.k.a. DF-15, M-9, CSS-6) is a short-range ballistic missile developed by the People's Republic of China. The DF-15 and the newer DF-16 are thought to be the only non-nuclear missiles in use by the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated in 2008 that China had 315–355 DF-15 missiles and 90–110 launchers.[3]

Dong Feng 15
Service history
In service1990–present
Used byPRC
Production history
ManufacturerAcademy of Rocket Motors Technology
Mass6,200 kg
Length9.1 m
Diameter1.0 m
WarheadNuclear 50-350 Kt, or conventional
Maneuverable reentry vehicles [1]
Blast yield90 kt

EngineSingle-stage solid-propellant rocket
600 km (370 mi) (DF-15)
900 km (560 mi) (DF-15A)
800 km (500 mi) (DF-15B)
700 km (430 mi) (DF-15C)
Astro-inertial guidance (including ring-laser gyroscope) + Beidou
Accuracy10 m[1][2]
Road-mobile TEL


Development on the DF-15 began in 1985 with a finalized design proposal being approved by the PLA in 1987. From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, testing of the missile was done in the Gobi Desert. The first public display of the missile took place at the Beijing Defense Exposition in 1986. The Second Artillery Corps had allegedly deployed a small number of the missiles the following year.

In 1989, Libya agreed to finance Syria's purchase of M-9 missiles from China. The sale of missiles to Syria were cancelled under U.S. pressure in 1991.[4][5]


The DF-15 uses a solid fuel, single-stage rocket. It is vertically launched from an eight-wheeled transporter erector launcher (TEL). The missile's trajectory is guided using small thrusters and an inertial guidance system on the warhead. The warhead is only a tenth of the size of the missile body. After the body and warhead separate, the body trails behind to camouflage the warhead. The terminal velocity of the missile is over Mach 6.[6] It can deliver a 500–750 kg (1,100–1,650 lb) payload up to 600 kilometres (370 mi), with accuracy of 300 m circular error probability (CEP).[2]

The DF-15A is a variant that employs control fins at the rear of the missile and on the reentry vehicle, GPS updates, and terminal radar guidance. Its payload is believed to be 600 kg (1,300 lb) with a range of 900 km (560 mi) and improved accuracy of 30–45 m CEP. The DF-15B is a further upgraded variant with similar features, as well as an active radar seeker, laser rangefinder, and maneuverable reentry vehicle. It is capable of ranges between 50–800 km (31–497 mi) with greater accuracy of 5–10 m CEP.[2]

The DF-15C is a bunker buster variant equipped with a deep-penetration warhead, with a range of 700 km (430 mi) and accuracy of 15–20 m CEP. It was originally designed with the capability of destroying the Heng Shan Military Command Center in Taiwan's capital of Taipei, which was built to withstand a 20 kiloton nuclear blast, a 2 kiloton conventional bomb blast, or an electromagnetic pulse; another target would be Chiashan Air Force Base. In the event of an invasion, the destruction of Taiwan's major command center would make it difficult to coordinate defenses. The missile's range also reaches locations as far as Kyushu in Japan, U.S. military bases in Okinawa and the Indian capital of New Delhi.[7][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "NEW DONG FENG 15". Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2008" (PDF). Office of the Secretary of Defense. p. 56 (p66 of PDF).
  5. ^ “Future of United States-China Policy”. May 20, 1993. Washington, D.C. p.162
  6. ^ "DF-15 (CSS-6 / M-9) – China Nuclear Forces". GlobalSecurity.org. 6 May 2005.
  7. ^ Photos published of China's DF-15C bunker buster Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine – Wantchinatimes.com, 3 June 2014
  8. ^ China releases first photos of DF-15C ‘bunker buster’, short-range ballistic missile with deep-penetration warhead – News.com.au, 4 June 2014

External linksEdit

  • CSIS Missile Threat – DF-15
  • Sinodefense description
Preceded by
Succeeded by