Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

5 Ağustos 2015 Çarşamba

New Mobile Coastal Variant of YJ-18 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Spotted in China

05 August 2015

Images have emerged on the Chinese internet showing what seems to be a mobile coastal variant of the YJ-18 (YingJi-18 or Eagle/Hawk-18) vertically-launched, long-range, supersonic, anti-ship missile. Two types of vehicles are shown in the recent pictures: a 12x12 chassis acting as the transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle and a smaller 8x8 chassis that could be the transporter/reloader vehicle (or a different missile as the canisters appear to be quite smaller than on the 12x12).

The missile launched from the 12x12 vehicle seems quite large, but one has to remember that a shore based anti-ship variant of YJ-18 could be fitted with a larger booster to increase its range.

If this vehicle is confirmed to be a YJ-18 launcher, this would be the fourth variant of the YJ-18 anti-ship missile family. It would join the:
- YJ-18 which is the original variant: A surface (ship) launched land attack cruise missile
- YJ-18A which is a vertically launched (from VLS) surface to surface anti-ship missile, currently fitted aboard Type 052D destroyers of the PLAN (and likely present on the future Type 055 destroyers).
- YJ-18B which the submarine launched variant

The extact designation of the new land-based variant of the YJ-18 is currently unknown.

Chinese media claim the YJ-18 system is designed for the destruction of various surface ships from an enemy’s landing squadrons, convoys, carrier strike groups, as well as single vessels and land-based radiocontrast targets in conditions of intensive fire and electronic countermeasures.

After the vertical launch the missile’s turbojet engine is capable of flying at a cruise speed of Mach 0.8 for about 180 kilometers after that point the warhead section separates and a solid rocket engine ignites allowing at a top speed of Mach 2.5-3 for about 40 kilometers. Because of these flight characteristics, some Western analysts believe the YJ-18 is based on the Russian Klub 3M-54E.

According to Chinese sources, the missile can maneuver at 10G acceleration to avoid enemy interception by air-to-air or surface-air missiles.

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