China’s first ballistic missile system, a licensed copy of the Soviet R-2 (SS-2 ‘Sibling’) short-range ballistic missile, which itself was derived from the German V-2 but with doubled range. The missile was 17.7 m in length and 1.65 m in diameter, with four trapezoidal-shape stabilising fins attached to the bottom. The missile had a launch weight of 20.5 t, and a take-off thrust of 37 t. The maximum flight range was 590 km. The missile was transported on a truck-towed trailer, which also served as the launcher platform.
The missile was designed to carry a single high-explosive (HE) warhead, though no combat warhead had ever been developed. The DF-1 used an inertial guidance coupled with remote radio mid-course lateral correction. The later required a large antenna array to be deployed on either side of the launcher, making the launch unit easily detectable in the battlefield.
Under the new missile designation system introduced in 1961, the “1059” missile was officially designated DF-1 (Dong Feng-1). The missile entered small batch production for training and test purposes in the early 1960s and was test fired again in 1963, but it never entered operational service. The DF-1 production was stopped in 1966 after the success of the indigenous DF-2A.