The DF-11 (CSS-7) is a short-range, road-mobile, solid propellant ballistic missile. It is a member of the “M” family, which is a family of missiles developed specifically for export. The DF-11 was developed for sale to Pakistan as an improved, solid propellant ‘Scud B’ missile. The DF-11 can be launched from ‘Scud B’ Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicles and was likely developed to directly compete with Russian Scuds. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) adopted the missile and it became operational in 1992.
The DF-11 missile system can be deployed on standard PLA eight-wheeled trucks or on converted ‘Scud B’ TEL systems. The decreased size and weight of the DF-11 over the DF-15 (CSS-6) makes it marginally more mobile and better suited for rapid deployment on the battlefield. The use of the DF-11 as a tactical system enables the PLA to take advantage of the TEL vehicles range and mobility.
The DF-11 has a range of 280 km to 350 km with a maximum payload of 800 kg. Its warhead can be equipped with high explosives (HE), selectable nuclear yields of 2, 10 or 20 kT, submunitions, FAE, or chemical agents. It has a length of 7.5 m, a diameter of 0.8 m, and a launch weight of 3,800 kg. It uses an inertial guidance system with terminal control, resulting in an accuracy of 500 m to 600 m CEP.Approximately 30 of the export version of the DF-11, the M-11, may have been exported to Pakistan in 1993 along with a number with mobile launch systems. In 1995 there were reports that between 30-50 missiles were exported to Iran with mobile launch vehicles, though this has not yet been confirmed. In addition, Iran is believed to have been helped by the PRC to develop the capacity to maintain and build M-11 missile systems domestically. Pakistan has produced two missiles that appear to borrow heavily from the M-11 design (the Hatf 3 and the Shaheen 1), and it is believed that their missile program received Chinese assistance.Reports suggest that the DF-11A is significantly different than its predecessor including a heavier launch weight, better guidance systems, and dramatically improved accuracy.
- The length and launch weight of the missile have increased. The length is one meter longer at 8.5m and the launch weight is 4,200 kg.
- The accuracy is reportedly 20 to 30 m CEP, indicating enhanced guidance. This could be an optical correlation terminal guidance, inertial navigation system/GPS, and/or pop-out fins on the re-entry vehicle.
- Unconfirmed reports suggest a range as much as 825 km, but it is assumed to be much less. 1
- Lennox, Duncan. “DF-11 (CSS-7/M-11).” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons). August 9, 2012. (accessed September 12, 2012). ↩