The DF-3A (NATO: CSS-2) is a Chinese liquid-fueled, single-stage, nuclear medium-range ballistic missile that entered service in 1971.[5]

DF-3 misil.svg
Place of originChina
Service history
In service1971-2014 (China)
Used byChina, Saudi Arabia
Length24 m
WarheadNuclear, possibly 3 × 50–100 kt (0.21–0.42 PJ) warheads or 1 × 700–3,000 kt (2.9–12.6 PJ) warhead[1]

Engineliquid fueled
4,000-5,000 km[2][3]
Astro-inertial guidance
Accuracy0.6-2.4 miles (1000-4000 m) CEP[4]
Range of various Chinese missiles (2007); DF-3A range in Orange.

In 1988 China sold several dozen (reportedly between 36 and 60) DF-3A missiles to Saudi Arabia.[3][6] Saudi Arabia publicly displayed them for the first time in 2014.[7]


Deployment of the missile began in 1971,[1] reaching a peak of 110 by 1984, then shrinking to 50 in 1993.[citation needed] 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.[5] 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.[8]


People's Liberation Army Rocket Force
  Saudi Arabia
Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force


  1. ^ a b "DF-3A / CSS-2". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat (Report). Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee. 1 June 2017. p. 5. NASIC-1031-0985-17. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Meick, Ethan (16 June 2014). China's Reported Ballistic Missile Sale to Saudi Arabia: Background and Potential Implications (PDF) (Report). U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  4. ^ "DF-3A - China Nuclear Forces".
  5. ^ a b Chinese nuclear forces, 2010. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  6. ^ Mark Urban (6 November 2013). "Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan". BBC. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Saudi Arabia unveils part of strategic missile force - a deterrent move against Iran?". Defense Update. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  8. ^ Chinese Nuclear Missile Upgrade Near Dalian - Fas.org, 21 May 2014
Preceded by DF-3A Succeeded by