Encyclopedia Astronautica
DF-3 Tsien

DF-3 Tsien
Conceptual drawing of the original Tsien DF-3 ICBM design. True configuration still unknown.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Development of the original DF-3 10,000 km missile was undertaken personally by Tsien Hue Shen, the father of Chinese rocketry, but faced insurmountable technical and management difficulties. It was cancelled and replaced by the DF-4.

Tsien was appointed Chief Designer of the missile on 14 November 1961. It was to be an ICBM using liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants, analogous to the American Atlas or Titan 1. However this was simply too great a leap forward for Chinese rocket technology. Furthermore, Tsien found himself to be unsuited to personal management of a large development project. Therefore, by the end of 1963, the project was cancelled.

Status: Cancelled 1962.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • 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...

  • 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.

DF-3 Tsien Chronology

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).

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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