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'World's best' anti-ship missile a showstopper

(China Daily)    08:27, November 07, 2016

A CM-302 model on display at 2016 Zhuhai Airshow.

China's largest missile-maker is promoting what it calls "the world's best anti-ship missile" for sales in the international market.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, one of the main defense equipment suppliers in the nation, is marketing its CM-302 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile to nations hoping to improve their naval capabilities.

CM-302 is the best anti-ship missile available on the world's arms market and "it's not an exaggeration", said Lyu Xiaoge, spokesman for the State-owned defense technology giant on the sidelines of the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow, which sealed 40 bln USD worth of deals.

The justification for the statement is that the missile can fly at supersonic speeds during its entire 290-kilometer trajectory, and it can be mounted on ships, aircraft or ground vehicles. It can be used to knock out land targets as well, Lyu said.

Offerings from competitors do not have such advantages, Lyu said. "They can be supersonic only during one certain part of the flight and can't be mounted on multiple platforms."

Only two other supersonic anti-ship missiles are available in the market: Russia's P-800 Oniks, also known as the SS-N-26 Strobile, and BrahMos, a joint development by Russia and India.

The most widely sold anti-ship missiles are the United States' Harpoon series, which have a maximum range of 280 km, the first of which entered into service in the 1970s, according to Cao Weidong, a researcher with the People's Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

Lyu said market research shows that "many nations" need potent weapons like the CM-302 to beef up their maritime defenses.

The missile, designed for export, resembles the YJ-12 heavy-duty, supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that made its debut at the V-Day military parade in Beijing in September of last year.

Aside from speed and flexibility, the CM-302 also has a greater ability to penetrate defenses and greater destructive power than others in the market, Lyu said.

He said only one CM-302 is capable of disabling a 5,000-metric-ton guided missile destroyer.


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