BEIJING: A senior Chinese military commander said Sunday that Thursday's National Day parade in Beijing will feature previously undisclosed technologies in the 108 missiles on display.
Yu Jixun, Deputy Commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery Force and Vice Commander-in-Chief of the joint headquarters for the military parade, made the statement ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1.
Yu said all the missiles to be displayed were new models or upgraded models never before made public.
They included two types of surface-to-surface conventional missiles, a land-based cruise missile, surface-to-surface intermediate and long-range missiles that could be equipped with either nuclear or conventional warheads, and nuclear-capable intercontinental missiles, he said.
Yu said the conventional missiles could launch precision strikes in all weathers and directions, while the land-based cruise missile boasted long-range and low-altitude flight, precision targeting, and quick emergency response from concealed places, he said.
The new-type surface-to-surface intermediate and long-range missiles were "major weapons in winning information-based warfare, " Yu said.
He said the nuclear-capable intercontinental missiles were "remarkable symbols" of China's defense muscle.
"The land-based cruise missiles and the new-type surface-to-surface intermediate and long-range missiles will make their first appearance."
The 108 missiles would form five groups that would rumble past the Tian'anmen Rostrum for a review by top leaders and foreign guests, he said.
"All five types of missiles are solid-fueled, with smaller bodies," Yu said. "In the past, missiles were mostly liquid-fueled and their bodies were huge," limiting their maneuverability.
"The missile arsenal includes both solid-fueled and liquid-fueled missiles of different ranges, capable of carrying various types of warheads and conducting nuclear counter-attacks," he told Xinhua.
"These show the PLA's latest developments in strategic deterrence and medium and long-range precision strikes," he said.
It will be the PLA strategic missile troop's third appearance in a national military parade since their debut at a National Day parade in 1984.
Only intermediate, intermediate-and-long-range, and long-range surface-to-surface conventional missiles were displayed at the 1984 parade.
He said two types of conventional missiles, and intermediate-range and long-range nuclear missiles were displayed at the 1999 parade.
Yu said cadets of the PLA Second Artillery Force studying in the Wuhan-based Second Artillery Command College, the Xi'an-based Second Artillery Engineering College and a sergeant school in Shandong Province would also march goose-step through Tian'anmen Square on October 1.