HongJian 9 Anti-Tank Guided Missile
The HongJian 9 (HJ-9) is designed to engage main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, and other targets in day/night, all-weather condition. The missile entered service in the late 1990s and was first revealed during the national day military parade held in Beijing on 1 October 1999. The missile was claimed to have a armour penetration capability of 1,200mm RHA, which means that it can penetrate the front armour of most modern main battle tanks in current service. The HongJian 9 in service with the PLA is carried on a 4X4 WZ550 armoured personnel carrier (APC) vehicle. Another variant has a single-tube launcher mounted on the 4X4 Nanjing NJ2046 high-mobility truck. The manufacturer claimed that the missile could also be launched from helicopters.
The HongJian 9 is fired from a tube launcher with a maximum range of 5,000m, and can operate in all weather conditions, day and night, with high accuracy and a lethal punch. The HongJian 9 missile is almost identical in appearance to the Israeli TAAS man-portable anti-tank system (MAPATS), causing speculations about the link between the two designs. However, it cannot be confirmed whether the HongJian 9 has any element of the MAPATS technology.
The launcher fires the HongJian 9 missile with tandem shaped high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads to defeat tanks fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA). The missile has a claimed armour penetration of 1,200mm, or over 320mm at 68 degree. It might also be able to be fitted with high explosive or thermal effect warheads for use against non-armoured point targets, bunkers or fortifications. The missile is driven by two solid rocket motors (one ejection, one cruise), with a maximum firing range of 5,000m. The missile has an extended probe on its head for greater standoff and penetration.
The WZ550 APC-mounted HongJian 9 system is seen in service with the PLA. The vehicle, operated by a crew of three men (driver, commander, and weapon operator), has an integrated weapon station containing an observation/fire-control unit and four tube missile launchers. When the vehicle is in travelling mode, the station can be retracted back to inside the troop compartment. There are four ready-to-launch missiles on the weapon station and eight spare missiles carried inside the vehicle. The station has an elevation from +10 to -10 degrees with +/-200 degree traverse. The fully automated weapon station is controlled by an operator inside the vehicle. The vehicle has a combat weight of 13.75t, and is powered by a 320hp turbo-charged diesel. The maximum road speed is 95km/h.
The HongJian 9 uses a semi-automatic laser command guidance. The weapon operator search and locate the target using a periscope optical sight (7km range) in day light, or a thermal imager at night or in bad weather conditions. Once the missile is launched, the operator continues aiming its sight at the target. The TV ganiometer measures the angle deviation between the missile and the line of sight. The correction command is sent to the missile via the laser transmission unit (5.5km range). During the flight of the HongJian 9 missile, the operator only needs to keep the sight's cross-hair on the target, and the system automatically transmits the laser command signal to the missile until it hits the target.
CNGC has also introduced the improved HongJian 9A with a more advanced millimetre wave guidance system. The correction command is sent to the missile via a millimetre wave transmission unit with longer range and better resistance to enemy jamming. A laser-beam riding variant known as HongJian 9B is also under development.
Depth of penetration (static): 1,200mm
Rate of fire: 2rds per minute
Missile body length: N/A
Missile body diameter: 152mm
Launch weight: 37kg
Field of fire: Elevation -10°~+10°; Traverse +/-200°
Last update: 28 September 2008