Encyclopedia Astronautica
DF-1



r2.jpg
R-2 Cutaway
Chinese version of Soviet R-2.

The design, tooling, and fabrication techniques for what was essentially a modestly stretched and improved German V-2 rocket had been completed by the time the Russian rocket specialists left China in August 1960. The first all-Chinese R-2 was launched from Jiuquan only three months later.

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: incomplete. Maximum range: 590 km (360 mi).

AKA: Project 1059; Dong-Feng 1.
Status: Retired 1970's.
Gross mass: 20,400 kg (44,900 lb).
Height: 17.60 m (57.70 ft).
Diameter: 1.65 m (5.41 ft).
Thrust: 250.00 kN (56,200 lbf).
Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).
First Launch: 1960.11.05.
Last Launch: 1960.12.01.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Project 581 Chinese technology satellite. Study 1959. First Chinese satellite project, with the objective of placing a satellite in orbit by 1959. More...

See also
  • A4 The V-2, known as the A4 to its developers, was the basis for most of the rocketry that exists in the world today. It was ineffective as a weapon of war, but represented a quantum leap in technology. The A1, A2, A3, and A5 were steps in the development of the missile. Later versions - the A6 through A12 - were planned to take the Third Reich to the planets. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CALT Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Chang, Iris, Thread of the Silkworm, Basic Books, New York, 1995.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons Databook 5: British, French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons, Ballinger Publishing, 1990.

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...

Associated Stages
  • DF-1-1 Lox/Alcohol rocket stage. 270.00 kN (60,698 lbf) thrust. Mass 14,000 kg (30,865 lb). More...

DF-1 Chronology


1955 September 17 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Tsien Hsue-shen deported from the United States. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. After five years of wrangling, and secret talks in Geneva between the Red Chinese and US governments, Tsien is deported from the United States. Upon arrival in China, he was immediately put to work as head of the Chinese missile program. He had to introduce US systems engineering approaches to Chinese engineers, and build the technical infrastructure to enable China to build rockets.

1956 February 17 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Plan for missile development proposed. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Tsien Hsue-shen submits a secret proposal to the State Council for ballistic missile development - 'Prospectus for Establishment of a National Defence Aviation Industry'. The proposal calls for the establishment of a research facility for aeronautics and missile development.

1956 March 1 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • 12 year plan for Chinese aerospace - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. Summary: Hundreds of Soviet and Chinese scientists put together the technology portion of China's 12 year plan. Missile development is emphasized in the plan at the expense of the aircraft industry..

1956 May 26 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy founded. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. The Fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defence is founded for development of ballistic missiles. Tsien is named its first Director on October 8. The Academy is established on the premises of an old hospital and two sanatoriums, with an initial staff of 100 high school graduates and 100 to 200 college graduates. Tsien teaches an 'Introduction to Rocket Technology' course while Zhuang Faggan from CalTech teaches aerodynamics.

1956 September 13 - . LV Family: R-1; R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Russian agrees to sell China two R-1 missiles - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: They were delivered in December 1956. Tsien is disgusted to find that the missiles are nothing but copies of the V-2. Something more advanced is needed, he argues to the Russians..

1957 October 15 - . LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Russia to assist China in missile development - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Russian and China sign New Defense Technical Accord, whereby Russia will supply China with protoype atomic bomb and two R-2 missiles, and related technical data. Under the agreement the Soviet Union will provide to China the necessary specialists, training, and tooling for licensed production of the R-2 ballistic missile (an improved version of the V-2).

1957 December 6 - . LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 licensed for production in China. - . Nation: USSR. On 6 December 1957 an agreement was signed to license production of the R-2 to China. A huge team of Russian rocket engineers and technicians went to Beijing to set up the production line. This rocket provided the technological base for the subsequent Chinese rocket programs.

1957 December 24 - . LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 missiles arrive in China. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: A Red Army missile battalion with two R-2's and their launchers arrive in Beijing by rail. They are secretly moved to the premises of the Fifth Academy in the middle of the night..

April 1958 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy expansion begins. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Over the next year, the People's Liberation Army transfers 3000 technical staff and cadres to the Fifth Academy and a further 300 engineers to industry. The Chinese government sends increasing numbers of Chinese engineers to Russia for training in missile technology. All of this is done in great secrecy, with correspondence being addressed only to post office box numbers.

June 1956 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Beginning of construction at Jiuquan missile test site - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: The 20th Corps of the People's Liberation Army begins construction of launch and tracking facilities at Jiuquan. Wells are dug, willow and poplar trees are planted, roads and housing are constructed..

Second half of 1958 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 technical documentation delivered. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: 10,151 volumes of R-2 technical documents are delivered to Beijing. China orders 12 more R-2 missiles. 100 Soviet technicians arrive as advisors to the Chinese in production and operation of th emissiles..

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).

January 1959 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 production advisors - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: The first Soviet advisors arrive to assist the Chinese in production of the R-2 missile..

April 1959 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Chinese/Russian missile talks - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: A Chinese delegation goes to Russia to discuss delivery of more tooling and machine tools for missile production..

July 1959 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Chinese/Russian missile talks - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: A second Chinese delegation goes to Russia to press for delivery of more tooling and machine tools for missile production..

1959 September 15 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • First missile factories built. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: First Chinese missile production factories built: Shenyang (missile frames) Nancheng (engines)..

October 1959 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Project 1059 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: Nie Rongzhen, Senior Commander of the Revolution responsible for strategic weapons, orders the Fifth Academy to quit wasting time on trying to leapfrog Soviet technology and concentrate on copying the Russian R-2. Code name for the project is 1059..

Late 1959 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 production obstacles - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. 14 manufacturers and 1400 industrial work units were needed to manufacture the R-2 engines alone. Basic materials were difficult to get. Some were imported; others substituted. Eventually 40% of the parts of the missile used substitute materials, but many of these replacements proved to be inadequate. Machine tools were not available, and the missile frame was formed manually by human muscle power. Inert gas arc welding technology had to be developed. Soviet style factories were being erected for the production of the missile.

Summer 1960 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Beijing-Jiuquan rail link - . Nation: China. Summary: The railway from Beijing to the Chinese missile launch site at Jiuquan is completed. The trip to the site takes four to five days..

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..

1960 October 20 - . Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • DF-1 launch preparations - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Summary: Tsien goes to Jiuquan to supervise preparations for launch of the first Chinese-built R-2..

1960 November 5 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: First launch of all-Chinese version of Russian R-2, model 1059. Radio guidance was used. Nie Rongzhen is present to observe the event..

1960 December 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1960 December 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: Two further launches are made from Jiuquan..

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.

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