China's DF-26 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), expected to be unveiled in the September 3 Military Parade is significantly smaller in size and weight as compared to India's Agni-V but can hit targets with greater precision while carrying heavier warheads.
Several Chinese media such as Sina.com claimed that the Chinese missile was "vastly superior" to Agni- V even though the Indian missile was comparable to it in terms of range.
Significantly, the DF-26 did not have a competitor in Russia or the US as both countries, being signatories to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987, could not have missiles greater than 500 km. The treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 500-5,500 km.
The DF-4 can carry 3 million tons of TNT for a range of 4,750 km and has been used as a core weapon of the PLA's Second Artillery Corps since it entered service in the 1980s.
China is eyeing to replace its existing DF-4 by DF-26.
The DF-26, a two-stage solid-fuel rocket IRBM, is reportedly 14 meters long with a diameter of 1.4 m and a launch weight of 20 tons. It can carry a nuclear or conventional warhead weighing 1,200-1,800 kilograms and has an estimated maximum range in excess of 5,000 km.