HongJian 8 Anti-Tank Guided Missile
The HongJian 8 (HJ-8) is the second-generation ATGM developed by China. The system bears some resemblance to the Russian 9K111 Fagot (NATO reporting name: AT-4 Spigot), but with improved performance. The HongJian 8 development began in 1970 and the weapon was certified for design finalisation in 1984. The missile entered service with the PLA in the late 1980s and has been deployed in three forms: man-portable, vehicle-mounted, and helicopter-mounted.
The HongJian 8 is designed primarily to engage tanks and armoured vehicles in all-weather conditions, day/night. It is a command to line of sight, semi-active homing, wire-guided missile launched from a tube launcher. The missile has a short, round body with a half-ball nose and foldable stabilising fins at missile’s tail. The missile has a maximum range of 3,000~4,000m. The early variants of the HongJian 8 can penetrate armours of 800mm thick, while the later variants (HongJian 8C/E) fitted with tandem warheads are claimed to be capable of penetrating armours of over 1,000mm.
The HongJian 8 missile can be fired by infantrymen using a tripod, as well as from vehicles and helicopter. In the man-portable version, the missile launcher tube and fire-control sight mechanism are supported by a tripod. Although categorised as a portable weapon missile, the man-packed variant HongJian 8 has to be operated by two men and is actually too heavy to be carried by soldiers over a long distance.
The HongJian 8 missile is also the main attack weapon of the Z-9G, Z-11, and SA 342L Gazelle attack helicopters. A Z-9W, Z-11, or SA 342L Gazelle armed variant helicopter gunship can carry four HongJian 8 missiles under the external pylons, while an improved Z-9WA can carry eight. The optical sight is housed inside a fire-control unit on helicopter roof and under-nose.
The man-portable version of the HongJian 8 missile system was exported to Pakistan and United Arab Emirates in the 1990s. It was also produced in Pakistan under license as the Baktar Shikan. Some HongJian 8 (or Baktar Shikan) missiles were handed over to the Bosnian Muslim forces against Serbia Army in the early 1990s. The combat results showed that the missile had no difficulty in penetrating the front armour of the Serbia’s M-84 main battle tank.
The HongJian 8 is an improved variant with a more powerful warhead and a modified rocket motor.
This variant is fitted with an extended probe for piercing explosive reactive armour (ERA).
This is the updated variant finalised for production in the mid-1990. The missile body is slightly longer to accommodate a new warhead and a modified motor to extend its range to 4,000m. The newly designed digitised fire control has increased the estimated hit accuracy to over 90%. The missile launcher is also fitted with the PTI-32 thermal image sight to replace the original IR sight for night combat.
The HongJian 8L is the latest upgraded variant with a lighter tripod launcher and greater armour piercing depth and all-weather combat ability. In response to the user feedback that the weapon’s tripod is too heavy for man-portable, the HongJian 8L has a re-designed tripod which is lighter, and minimises the operator’s exposure to enemy fire. The HongJian 8L’s launcher can also be used to fire all other variants of the HongJian 8 missile. The "smart launcher" system is capable of automatically identifying the missile version and choose the correct firing/guidance mode. This variant is for export only , but did not enter production due to lack of buyer.
Range (Min): 100m
Range (Max): 3,000m (HJ-8/A/C) or 4,000m (HJ-8E/L)
Hit Probability: 90%
Depth of Penetration (static): 800~1,000mm
Depth of Penetration (dynamic, at 68 degree): 180mm (HJ-8/A);
180mm + ERA (HJ-8C/E); 220mm + ERA (HJ-8L)
Rate of Fire: 2~3rds per minute
Mean Flying Speed: 220m/s
Encased Missile Length: 1,566mm
Encased Missile Diameter: 155mm
Encased Missile Weight: 25kg
Missile Length: 875mm
Missile Diameter: 120mm
Missile Winspan: 320mm
Main Missile Weight: 11.2kg
IR Goniometer Dimensions (length X width X height): 480mm x
150mm x 280mm
Guidance Unit Dimensions (length X width X height): 665mm x
368mm x 350mm
Wide IR Field of View: ±49m
Narrow IR Field of View: ±7m
Field of View of Sight: 6°
Magnification of Sight: x12
Field of Fire: Elevation -7° ~ +13°; Traverse 360°
Environmental Condition for Firing: Temperature -40°C ~
+50°C, all weather
Last update: 30 April 2007