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IHS Analysis - China's Guided Weapons Sector

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The evidence of Airshow China is that China's guided weapon sector is growing exponentially, with an unprecedented number of new, sometimes overlapping, programmes. IHS examines the situation and the …

The evidence of Airshow China is that China's guided weapon sector is growing exponentially, with an unprecedented number of new, sometimes overlapping, programmes. IHS examines the situation and the outlook.

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  • 1. IHS Jane’sAnalysis: China’s GuidedWeapons SectorRobert Hewson, Editor, IHS Jane’s Weapons: Air-LaunchedJanuary 2013Introduction (Mach 4+) weapons; long-range gliding dispenserThe evidence of Airshow China 2012 is that Chinas weapons; specialist penetrator weapons for hardenedguided weapon sector is growing exponentially, with an target attacks; laser-guided rockets; and a fuel-airunprecedented number of new, sometimes overlapping, explosive (FAE) bomb. Continuing progress could be seenprogrammes. in the development of small weapons both for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and for internal carriage on ChinasAlthough chiefly an aerospace event, Airshow China is future fighters. There were also new air-launchedincreasingly home to a land and maritime systems derivatives of missiles previously seen only in the surface-component and 2012’s event brought together an to-surface role - and even new surface-to-air versions ofimpressive array of new weapons for all three domains. current air-to-air missiles.More than a dozen new weapons, never before seen in The expanded range of air-defence products at Zhuhai -public, appeared – along with many improvements to as with all other exhibits, all available for export - was veryexisting products. This underlines the ever-growing obvious. Several previously unknown mobile multi-capabilities of Chinas weapon makers and the ever- weapon/multi-sensor ground-based air-defence systemsincreasing product range that China now offers for export. were on show, alongside fully functional hardware for large systems such as the FD-2000 (export designationThere were several notable firsts among the air weapon HQ-9) and LY-80 (export designation HQ-16).exhibits, including Chinas first dedicated anti-radiationdefence suppression weapons; its first very-high-speed© 2012 IHS 1 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 2. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon SectorChina is also offering an increasing number of precision- Air-Launched Weaponsguided surface-to-surface weapons and Airshow China The appearance of a new air-launched anti-radiation2012 saw the first public appearances of the CM-501G missile (ARM) was a significant development at the show.and WS-33 truck-launched medium-range missiles, plus The weapon, the LD-10, is being promoted for export bythe latest WS-22 and WS-32 variants of the WS-2 multiple the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and is arocket launcher family. product of the Luoyang Optoelectro TechnologyThere were strong appearances from Chinese weapon Development Centre (LOEC). The missile, which is closelymakers that had not previously attended the show. This based on LOECs SD-10 (PL-12) air-to-air missile (AAM),included Norinco (the China North Industries Corporation), is the first dedicated ARM to be observed in China. LOECwhose Harbin Jiancheng Group subsidiary showed eight officials told IHS Janes that the LD-10 is already inair-launched weapons (seven of which had not been production for an (unnamed) export customer.exhibited before). Also making its debut was the China AVIC data identifies the PAC/AVIC JF-17 Thunder (FC-1)South Industries Group Corporation (CSG), which brought as the "typical carrier aircraft" for the LD-10. This pointsa collection of bombs, including the CS/BBF1 FAE bomb, directly to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as the customerplus a dispenser weapon - all newly revealed in public. for the missile. A senior PAF officer noted at the show thatBetter known as an automobile manufacturer (it has joint the Brazilian-built Mectron MAR-1 ARM is alreadyventures with Ford, Suzuki, and Volvo among others), integrated and operational with the JF-17 but suggestedCSG displayed an entire hall full of combat vehicles, that it was preferable to have "options" when it came toincluding armoured transports, air defence and radar future JF-17 exports. LOEC officials also acknowledgedsystems, UAV launch-and-control vehicles, all-terrain the status of the MAR-1 on the JF-17 but added that thevehicles and even a mine-resistant ambush-protected LD-10 was a lighter, more modern weapon that offered(MRAP) vehicle. This was the first time such a greater effective range (quoted as 60 km). JF-17concentration of land systems had been brought to programme officials added that the aircraft is close toAirshow China (there were many other military vehicles winning new orders outside Pakistan.from other manufacturers also), underlining the fact that LOEC representatives would not be drawn on where thethe event has become a major showcase for Chinas seeker technology for the LD-10 was developed. Thedefence industry as a whole. company already has some experience in anti-radiation systems and has incorporated a passive homing mode in the SD-10 AAM. However, the seeker for that missile was© 2013 IHS 2 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 3. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon Sectordeveloped with Russian input and well-placed Russian have an inertial navigation system fitted, but a receiversources suggest that the Omsk-based Avtomatika antenna on the nose also points to an additional satelliteconcern, which specialises in air-to-surface anti-radiation guidance capability.seekers, may have assisted with the LD-10. CSG has adopted complex (and opaque) designations forAn anti-radiation seeker is also being offered by the China its new air-launched systems, referring to its new glidingAerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) dispenser as the CS/BBC5. This is a 500 kg-class stand-for its new FT-6A extended-range glide bomb. The FT-6 is off weapon designed to deliver several payload optionsa 250 kg-class weapon that mates a Mk 82-type bomb over long ranges and at low cost. CSG provided almost nobody with a wing kit that delivers a glide range of 60 km. information on this, or any of its products, but noted thatThe latest FT-6A incorporates an anti-radiation seeker that the CS/BBC5 is intended for all-weather use overallows the weapon to directly target air-defence systems, distances that allow the launch aircraft to avoid hostile airand mobile systems in particular. CASC has developed defences. Two satellite receiver antennas mounted on topadditional new terminal seeker options for the GPS/INS- of the airframe indicate that the CS/BBC5 uses a GPS-guided FT bomb family and showed an improved FT-3A aided inertial navigation system. CSG said that aweapon fitted with a TV/imaging infrared seeker. submunition payload or a unitary warhead can be carried.According to CASC, the bombs accuracy has beenimproved from a circular error probable (CEP) of about 20 Alongside the Tianlei, Norinco/Harbin Jiancheng exhibitedm to less than 3 m with the new seeker. new precision-guided munitions (PGMs) ranging from 100 kg to 1,000 kg (the TG100, TG250, TG250-ER, TG500Norinco and CSG both exhibited new stand-off dispenser and TG1000). The Tiange PGM family (named after anweapons in the class of the US AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off ancient Chinese weapon resembling a pike; TiangeWeapon. The two Chinese weapons are remarkably roughly translates as Sky Spear) breaks down alongsimilar in appearance and performance and may well have three distinct lines. Within these divisions the weaponsbeen developed to meet a competitive export requirement. exhibit cues from various US and Russian guided-bombNorincos Tianlei (Sky Thunder) has a gliding range of designs, but all in distinctly Chinese final form. The Tiangemore than 80 km. It weighs 680 kg and can deliver a mix bombs are mostly dual-mode weapons with GPS/INSof submunition types. Company officials said that 12 anti- guidance and semi-active laser homing in the terminalrunway penetrating bomblets can be carried for an airfield phase. Only the 500 kg TG500 stands apart as a single-attack, but up to 100 anti-personnel bomblets could be mode (laser-guided) bomb. As the largest weapon, theloaded for an area attack mission. The Tianlei is certain to 1,050 kg TG1000 is perhaps the most important as it is a© 2013 IHS 3 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 4. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon Sectorspecialist penetrator. It closely resembles the US GBU-28 electro-optical seekers for the 50 kg-class LS-6-50 and thePaveway III design (although it is less than half the 100 kg-class LS-6-100.weight) and Norinco says it is capable of penetrating morethan 2.4 m of concrete reinforced to a strength of 35 MPa. Two recently developed small weapons from CASICThe TG1000 is claimed to be accurate to within 3 m over a (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation) weremaximum range of about 20 km. However, company also arranged alongside the Wing Loong. The YZ-200 isofficials noted that it had not yet undergone airborne drop described by CASIC as a precision-guided bomb fortests. UAVs, helicopters, and fighter aircraft. While CASIC did not identify the guidance type used, the display article wasAt the other end of the scale is the 130 kg TG100, which identified as a laser-guided bomb. A CASIC YZ-100 anti-appears to have the same Paveway III genes as the personnel bomb was also on show.TG1000 and resembles a GBU-22 in many ways. It hasbeen developed to equip UAVs, armed trainers and light In the exhibition halls a model of the CASIC CM-502KGcombat aircraft and was one of several new small air-to-surface missile was displayed carried by a model ofweapons to be found at Zhuhai. CASICs high-speed WJ-600 UAV. A similar configuration was present at Airshow China 2010, but the weapon wasUAV Weapons not identified on that occasion. Now CASIC notes that the CM-502KG is a lightweight missile with a 25 km range andAlongside the first true example of an operational, armed an 11 kg warhead optimised for precise strikes againstChinese UAV (the AVIC Chengdu Wing Loong) at Airshow targets on land or at sea.China were four different tailored lightweight weapons. Onits underwing hardpoints the UAV carried a pair of Norinco Another contender in the small precision weapon arenaHJ-10 (KD-10) air-to-surface anti-armour missiles could be glimpsed at Norinco, where Harbin Jianchengidentified on this occasion with their export designation displayed a range of 90 mm airborne rockets designatedBlue Arrow 7. The Hellfire-class HJ-10 has already been Tianjian (Sky Arrow). Company data says that a guidanceextensively trialled with the Wing Loong and this particular option is available and illustrations depict what appears toaircraft was painted with 15 missile shot silhouettes. be a laser-guided rocket: the first time such a system has been observed in China.The LOEC LS-6-50 small-diameter bomb was displayedwith the Wing Loong: the first time this weapon has been There was an avalanche of new weapon programmes inexpressly associated with a UAV. Elsewhere at the show evidence at Airshow China and, while it is not possible toLOEC exhibited the separate semi-active laser and assess the real status of many of these, experience shows© 2013 IHS 4 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 5. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon Sectorthat most of what first appears at Zhuhai ends up as real baseline GPS/INS guidance fit that can be augmented tohardware. In many cases, some of what is presented as provide man-in-the-loop control, according to CASIC.brochure-ware in public is already hardware, asevidenced by the appearance this year of AVICs Ground-Based Air Defenceconceptual fighter model (the real-world Shenyang J-31) An array of new ground-based air-defence systemsand illustrations of the CASIC CM-400AKG very-high- (GBADS) were also on display in Zhuhai, with a clearspeed missile – which was later confirmed to already be in trend towards mobile, multipurpose systems with aPAF service. combination of gun and missile armament.CASIC continued to tease observers at the event with CASIC showed its KS-1000 short- to medium-range SAM,glimpses of several significant new weapons. These part of the new FK-1000 mobile system. The KS-1000included the CM-506KG: seemingly a close copy of the bears a strong resemblance to the KBP 9M311 missileUS GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb. Illustrations show a that equips several Russian air-defence systems, whilecompact precision-guided glide bomb in the 150 kg class the FK-1000 itself has adopted a configuration not unlikefitted with a DiamondBack-type folding wing that gives a KBPs Pantsir-S1 truck-mounted mobile gun/missileclaimed range of 130 km. The baseline weapon has system.GPS/INS guidance, but this can be augmented withadditional terminal seekers. According to CASIC, the FK-1000 is an all-weather mid- to low-altitude air-defence system with a combinedThe radar-guided CASIC C-705 anti-ship missile, gun/missile armament in an integrated combat vehiclemeanwhile, has been transformed into a multipurpose air- capable of conducting independent acquisition, trackinglaunched weapon. The new C-705KD is turbojet-powered and engagement of multiple targets. The system isweapon with a range of 140 km. It is fitted with a designed for battlefield air defence against fixed-wingTV/imaging infrared seeker and datalink for precision aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, and cruise missiles.attack, with man-in-the-loop control. A new warhead andfuse can also be fitted. Also to hand was a new evolution of the CASIC FL-2000 mobile short-range air-defence system: the FL-2000C.The C-602 anti-ship missile has also evolved into the CM- This is a 4x4 truck-mounted system that is larger and602G land-attack weapon, which can be fired from a more capable than the various FL-2000 systems seen tothree-tube mobile truck launcher as well as from ships. date (of which there are at least three). The FL-2000C hasThe missile has a 290 km range with a 480 kg penetrating a combined radar and electro-optical target detection andblast/fragmentation warhead. The CM-602G has a© 2013 IHS 5 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 6. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon Sectortracking system and is armed with two pods of a new typeof infrared (IR)-guided SAM. CASIC does not identify thisweapon but notes that it has a 90 mm diameter.Elsewhere a new type of staring IR seeker designated theFB-10 was displayed by CASIC and this is almostcertainly linked with the FL-2000C.Export versions of CASICs heavy mobile SAM systems -the FD-2000 (HQ-9) and LY-80 (HQ-16) - were shown atZhuhai along with their missiles and associated radarvehicles. Hardware for these systems had not beendisplayed previously at Airshow China.Under the AVIC banner, LOEC revealed a surface-to-airversion of its SD-10A air-to-air missile (AAM) that is verydifferent to earlier proposals for a ground-based SD-10.This surface-launched SD-10A is extensively modified tocombine the forward section of the AAM with an entirelynew mid- and rear section. The revised missile is now5.054 m long but retains the same fuselage diameter asthe AAM. Four new centrebody strakes are attached to theairframe, which also has significantly enlarged tail fins toprovide the enhanced manoeuvring control the SAMdemands. AVIC says the SD-10A SAM has an effectiverange of 50 km and an operating altitude of 30 m to20,000 m.This analysis represents part of IHS Defense Weaponsnews, insight and intelligence. To learn more visitwww.ihs.com/defenseweapons.© 2013 IHS 6 ihs.com/defenseweapons
  • 7. IHS Analysis: China’s Guided Weapon SectorAbout IHS About IHS Defence & SecurityIHS (NYSE: IHS) is a leading source of information and With over 100 years of history as Jane’s, IHS is the mostinsight in pivotal areas that shape today’s business trusted and respected public source of defence andlandscape: energy, economics, geopolitical risk, security information in the world.sustainability and supply chain management. With a reputation built on products such as IHS Jane’sBusinesses and governments around the globe rely on the Fighting Ships, IHS Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft and IHScomprehensive content, expert independent analysis and Jane’s Defence Weekly, IHS delivers comprehensive,flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact credible and reliable news, insight and analysis across alldecisions and develop strategies with speed and key defence and security subject areas, and in support ofconfidence. critical military and security processes.IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a IHS military weapons information and analysis productspublicly traded company on the New York Stock represent an invaluable open-source news, informationExchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, and intelligence asset for businesses, defenceColorado, USA, IHS employs more than 6,000 people in organisations and armed forces.more than 31 countries around the world. ihs.com/defenseweaponsihs.com© 2013 IHS 7 ihs.com/defenseweapons