- This article is about the missile; for information on the aircraft, see CASA C-101.
|Type||anti-ship, and air-to-surface missiles|
|Place of origin||China|
|In service||late 1980s–present|
|Manufacturer||Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation|
|Warhead||300 kg warhead|
|Flight altitude||50 cruising|
|ARH & IR|
|Air & ground|
The C-101 (FL-2) is a supersonic anti-ship missile that can be launched from air, ship, and shore. Alternatively, the air-launched version is also called YJ-1 by Chinese, with YJ short for Ying Ji (鹰击), meaning Eagle Strike. The missile is also known designated by Chinese as Fei Long - 2 for export (with Fei Long meaning Flying Dragon – 2, or FL-2 for short), and there are two side-mounted ramjet engines at the rear of the airframe. The ship-launched version C-101 and the air-launched version YJ-1 both have integrated fire control system to meet the tight space requirement on board ships and aircraft, where the coastal defense version FL-2 has a distributed fire control system, where power, radar, and operator consoles are located separately to reduce the possible damage from enemy attacks. This is a practice commonly adopted by other Chinese missiles such as Silkworm missiles. The NATO reporting name for this missile is CSSC-5 Saple.The development of C-101 missile started in the late 1970s, and production began in the mid-1990s, as part of the replacement of the obsolete HY-2/CSS-N-2 missiles. The Chinese Navy tested the C-101 anti-ship missile on the Hoku-class missile boat, and Huang-class missile boat are being fitted with four C-101 launch tubes, while smaller classes carry two launch tubes. The air-launched version has been reportedly carried on the H-5 and Xi’an H-6 bombers and the Harbin SH-5 amphibian and eventually expanded to most of the aircraft in the Chinese inventory. The armed with a 300 kg semi-armor-piercing warhead with a delayed impact fuse. Cruising at an altitude below 50 meters, the missile dives about 3 kilometers away from the target to 5 meters above the sea level and then dive to attack, impacting just above the waterline.
The C-101 anti-ship missile has a lower speed and higher cruise altitude than larger and more potent supersonic anti-ship missiles such as the SS-N-22, and thus is relatively prone to interception in comparison to the SS-N-22, but this drawback is partially made up by its smaller radar cross section and lower infrared signature. The same advantages are retained when compared to the subsonic Silkworm missiles, which also have higher cruise altitude and lower speed in comparison to C-101. As a result, the C-101 saw wider service in Chinese armed forces than its larger cousin C-301, mainly as a stopgap measure for the air force until the newer supersonic missile such as the Russian Kh-31 becomes widely available, and as an upgrade for older missile boats such as the Heku class to replace the original Silkworm missiles on board. Although Chinese claim that other type of seekers such as infrared imaging and television seekers have been successfully developed, the status is rather uncertain due to the availability of newer anti-ship missiles. The general designer of C-101 is Mr. Liang Shoupan (梁守磐), who is also the general designer of another Chinese supersonic AShM C-301. According to Chinese military enthusiasts, the upgraded C-101 with the latest improvements is reportedly designated as YJ-16.
- Length: 5.8 meter
- Wingspan: 1.2 meter
- Weight: 1,850 kg
- Warhead: 300 kg
- Range: 45 km
- Speed: > Mach 1.7 cruise, > Mach 2 in attack
- Cruise altitude: < 50 meter in flight, 5 meter at final stage
- Propulsion: two ramjet engines with rocket boosters
- Guidance: active radar homing seeker (other types of seekers have been developed)
- Original developer: CHEMTA (China Sea Eagle Electromechanical Technology Academy, 中国海鹰机电技术研究院, formerly the 3rd Design Academy of the Aerospace Ministry) and China Precision Machinery Import-Export Co.