In recent years, the global military landscape has witnessed a significant shift, particularly in missile technology.

At the forefront of this evolution is China’s Dong Feng-17 (DF-17), a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV)-powered medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) that has garnered considerable attention from defense analysts and policymakers worldwide.

This article delves into the strategic implications of the DF-17, drawing upon critical insights from the Pentagon’s 2022 and 2023 reports on China’s military developments.

The DF-17: A Game-Changer in Ballistic Missile Technology

The DF-17 represents a pivotal advancement in ballistic missile technology.

Its journey began in the early 2010s as part of China’s ambitious plan to modernize its military and develop weapons that could penetrate advanced US missile defense systems.

China recognized the strategic value of hypersonic technology, which promised to render existing defense mechanisms less effective.

The DF-17 is primarily a solid-fuelled, road-mobile MRBM with a length of approximately 11 meters and a weight of around 15,000 kg.

This missile is mounted on a 10×10 military truck chassis, functioning as a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL).