Codenamed CM-401, the weapon system is a new type of hypersonic ballistic anti-ship missile that can reach as fast as Mach 6, according to a description the company released at the air show. It can be launched into a near-space trajectory and is capable of hypersonic maneuverable flight throughout the course, the description said.
Upon reaching above its target, the CM-401 can conduct a terminal diving attack at extremely high velocity, it said. The missile can deliver rapid and precise strikes on medium to large vessels, vessel formations and port targets, the description said. A military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Tuesday that the weapon has the potential of destroying a hostile vessel with one hit.
Once it begins to dive, it is very difficult to intercept because of its hypersonic velocity, the expert said. China also has the DF-21D and DF-26 ballistic missiles capable of targeting moving targets at sea. China has already mastered the difficult technique of anti-ship ballistic missiles, he said, noting that even the US and Russia do not have a similar weapon in service.
It can also be launched by a ship, according to an illustration the company released. The missile is for sale to other countries, a company representative told the Global Times on Tuesday at the show.
The anonymous expert said that putting the weapon on sale indicates that China's own technology is far more advanced and that China has the means to defend against it. By purchasing the weapon, the country will possess greater deterrence against hostile sea attacks, especially from large vessels like aircraft carriers, he noted.
Aside from the CM-401, CASIC is also displaying another anti-ship missile weapon system featuring the YJ-12E (CM-302) supersonic anti-ship missile and the C602, C802A/CM-802B and C705 subsonic anti-ship missile.
This article was originally published in Global Times.