Nuclear experts have initially discovered 14 construction sites for missile silos in northwest China on satellite images - they estimate that it will be a grid of around 110 silos.
Beijing - China is expanding its nuclear missile silos.
After the discovery of a site with missile silos under construction near Yumen in Gansu Province in June, atomic experts from the Association of American Scientists (FAS) used additional satellite images to locate a second field near Hami in the northwest region of Xinjiang.
"The construction of the silos in Yumen and Hami represents the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal to date," wrote the nuclear experts in their report published on Tuesday.
Work on the second area in Hami, around 380 kilometers northwest of the first field in Yumen, began in March and has not progressed that far.
Dome halls cover the view of initially 14 construction sites, as can be seen in the photos.
Based on the preparatory work on the complex, the scientists estimate that it will be a grid of around 110 silos.
The first field is estimated at 120 silos.
However, it is unclear whether all of the silos will also be equipped with missiles or how many could also be used for deception. According to FAS estimates, China now has around 350 nuclear warheads. China's arsenal is thus significantly smaller than that of the USA or Russia, which each have 4,000 nuclear warheads. dpa