Saturday, March 19

Preview: Takom's sneak launch of their 35th scale DF-17 Hypersonic Ballistic Missile

The much-hyped-hypersonic DF-17 Missile of the PLA is the subject of the latest kit in 1/35th scale from Takom. We look a little into what the missile can do and the little we know on the kit in our preview...

DF-17 Hypersonic Ballistic Missile
From Takom
1/35th scale
Kit #2153
Designed in collaboration with Snowman Studio.
The Subject: DF-17 Hypersonic Ballistic Missile
The DF-17 (Dong Feng-17) is a Chinese medium-range missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. U.S. officials first confirmed the existence of DF-17 prototypes (DF-ZF/Wu-14) in 2014.

DF-17 missiles on road-mobile vehicles on parade in Beijing, October 1 2019
China has invested significant resources in the DF-17 and its other hypersonic weapon programs. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly done so to counter adversary missile defences, as well as to develop a fast, long-range, high-precision strike capability that “leaves enemies with little time to react.” While slower than a conventional ballistic reentry vehicle, HGVs’ higher maneuverability and lower-altitude flight make them harder to track and predict their flight path, challenging legacy ballistic missile defence systems.
In 2018, one U.S. official noted that China had conducted around 20 times the number of hypersonic weapons tests as the United States had in the preceding decade.

China's new DF-17 hypersonic glide vehicle can penetrate advanced air defence systems, here it is again seen on a portable mover, this time from the top so you can see more of its shape.
China’s 10th Research Institute is responsible for developing the DF-17 and other Chinese HGVs. Also known as the “Near Space Flight Vehicle Research Institute,” the organization operates under the China Aerospace Science Industry Corporation (CASIC) 1st Academy. U.S. officials confirmed the DF-17’s existence in 2014, identifying it as the Wu-14. News media later identified the missile as the DF-ZF – likely an early Chinese designation. Between January 2014 and November 2017, China conducted at least nine flight tests of the DF-17. Tests took place at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province.

The DF-17 is solid-fueled, measures around 11 m in length, and weighs around 15,000 kg. The DF-17’s booster appears to be the same as that used for China’s DF-16 ballistic missile. Its accompanying DF-ZF HGV reportedly reaches speeds of Mach 5-10 (1.72-3.43 km/s) in its glide phase. U.S. intelligence assessments suggest that the DF-17 possesses a range between 1,800 and 2,500 km. Although Chinese commentators have emphasized the DF-17’s conventional mission, the missile may alternatively equip nuclear warheads.

Military vehicles carrying the DF-17 hypersonic ballistic missile during a parade in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 2019. 
The DF-17 has demonstrated a high degree of accuracy in testing, with one U.S. government official saying a test warhead “within meters” of its intended, stationary target. U.S. defence officials have also said the DF-ZF HGV performed “extreme maneuvers” and “evasive actions” in previous test flights.

Some reports suggest China could develop the DF-17 into a second-generation anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), further enabling China’s strategy to deter U.S. regional intervention. In January 2019, PLA officials claimed to have an antiship DF-17 variant under development.
The DF-17’s status remains unclear. Its appearance in China’s October 2019 military parade, however, has raised speculation that it may have entered PLA service.
Information from Missile Threat Website.

This new kit from Takom:
Not a lot is known about the missle and some less on the kit so far. Takom has colluded with Snowman again on this project, and it is offered in 1/35th scale, so do not hold out for a launch vehicle any time soon!
The kit comes with a single colour scheme choice and of course, the launch part of the rocket is included.

For now, like the missile, everything else about this kit is "Top Secret"

That is all we know about this release for now. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page