|Place of origin||People's Republic of China|
|Manufacturer||China Haiying Electromechanical Technology Academy (中国海鹰机电技术研究院)|
|Warhead||29 kg semi armour-piercing high explosive, with time-delay fuze|
|Engine||Solid rocket engine|
|Wingspan||0.587 m (unfolded); 0.450 m (folded)|
|Flight altitude||15-20 m (flight)|
|TV-homing, Infra-red, millimetre radar|
|ground-based vehicles, naval ships, fixed-wing aircraft|
The C-701 is a Chinese missile that is roughly comparable to the American AGM-65 A/B/D/H Maverick air-to-surface missile. However, the C-701 is smaller and has less than half the weight of the AGM-65 A/B/D/H Maverick.
The C-701 was developed by the China Precision Machinery Import Export Co or CPMIEC. The air-launched television guided version (C-701T) was the first to appear, while the surface-launched version followed. The third version to appear was version with the imaging infrared seeker and after that, the version after that was the one with radar guidance (C-701R). A millimetre-wave radar seeker (C-703) was revealed to be under development in 2002, though the designation was not revealed until six years later in 2008 during the 7th Zhuhai Airshow.
Although the existence of the first two versions has been reported for a long time, it was not until the six Zhuhai Airshow held near the end of 2006 did these report have been officially confirmed by the Chinese government in public. All of the versions are offered for export.
Although originally designed as an anti-ship missile (AShM), the missile was eventually developed into an air-to-surface missile that can engage various targets. When used as an anti-ship missile, its intended targets are boats with 180 ton displacement or less, such as missile or torpedo armed FAC, patrol boats, and gunboats.
There are two types of guidance: the Fire-and-forget mode and the command mode. The first type of guidance enables the aircraft/boats/vehicles to get out after launching, providing greater safety while the second type enables the operator to change targets after launching, or to terminate the attack if needed. The television seeker of the missile can be replaced by either an imaging infrared seeker or a millimetre-wave radar seeker. A version with a radar seeker (not the millimetre-wave radar seeker) designated as C-701R has also been displayed in public.
Unlike the American AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile which is only launched from air, C-701 can be launched from various platforms from air (both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft) and surface (which includes both land/vehicles and ships/boats), but the missile cannot be launched from submarines yet. When the missile is deployed on land and ships, the standard ground launcher consists of 4 rectangular box launching/storage containers with two atop the other two, and the entire 4-round launcher is fixed at 15 degrees elevation. Two of such launchers form the backbone of the missile battery with a total of 8 missiles, with a total weight less than 2 tons.
The C-701 (or its Iranian derivative, the Kowsar) may have been employed by Hezbollah fighters to attack and damage the INS Hanit during the 2006 Lebanon War. The much heavier C-802 is more often reported to have been the weapon used, but this is possibly based on the initial exaggerated damage assessment; apart from destroying the steering, the direct damage caused by the missile hit seems to have been fairly light and the ship was witnessed to have completed the return to base on its own power. Based on the operational history of the Harpoon missile which is a rough equivalent to the C-802, the latter missile would have most likely caused considerably heavier damage.
FL-10 (FL = Fei Long / Feilong, or 飞龙 in Chinese, meaning Flying Dragon) is the cheaper coastal defense version of C-701 anti-ship missile. Following the tradition of Silkworm missile, a land-based version with the lowest requirement is also developed for this missile: as the missile is stored in a controlled environment in a warehouse on land, the salinity, temperature and relative humidity requirements for the missile itself are greatly reduced. Because it is designed and deployed on land, the associate C4I systems can be located separately: the distributed system prevents electromagnetic interference, and if the C4I system is attacked, the distributed nature of the FL-10 would greatly reduce casualties and damage. FL-10 was revealed to the public at Zhuhai Airshow with the seeker of the TV guided version.
C-703 is the millimeter wave (MMW) guided (homing) version of C-701. Originally revealed in the 2002 Zhuhai Airshow, the missile had an 8-mm MMW seeker. In the 2008 Zhuhai Airshow, a 4-mm MMW seeker was also been developed. It was rumored that C-703 was specifically developed for export customers such as Iran.
In 2013, the existence of a light weight Chinese AShM was revealed to the public via internet, which is designated as YJ-9, with YJ as the abbreviation of Ying Ji, meaning Eagle Strike in Chinese (鹰击). It is reported that YJ-9 is capable of target prioritization like the latest version of Swedish RBS-15, but unlike RBS-15, this is not achieved via the processing capability of the missile itself as in the case of RBS-15, but instead, it is achieved via airborne radar of the launching platform, such as fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The reason is that equipping AShM with target prioritization capability is too costly, driving up the unit price of the missile. Since the maximum range of the YJ-9 is within the visual range, developer took French approach like that of AS 15 TT by adding the capability to radar: target prioritization capability is incorporated into the radar, and the missile itself is equipped with data link, so that when there is a need to switch targets after launch, the updated information would be passed to missile from launching platform. There is also a suffix XF, rumored to be the abbreviation of Xiao Fan (小反), which in turn, is the abbreviation of Xiao-Xing Fan-Jian-Dao-Dan (小型反舰导弹)， meaning small AShM. However, such claims have yet to be verified by official governmental sources of China, or other independent sources outside China. YJ-9 AShM is carried by Harbin Z-9 helicopter and other aircraft. YJ-9 is frequently but erroneously identified as a derivative of another light AShM TL-10 with similar size and performance, but the photo of People's Liberation Army NavyZ-9 helicopter carrying YJ-9 shows other wise due to the different layout of the two missiles: the forward fins of TL-10 is located near the midpoint of the body, while that of C-701 is closer to the tail, at a point approximately one third to the end of body and two third to the nose tip, and UYJ-9 is clearly in the layout of C-701 instead of TL-10.
Specifications C-701 specification
- Length: 2.507 metre
- Diameter: 0.18 metre
- Wingspan: 0.587 metre (0.45 metre when folded)
- Weight: 117 kg
- Warhead: 29 kg (semi armor-piercing)
- Speed: > 0.8 Mach
- Cruise altitude: 15 - 20 metre
- Range: 25 km
- Kill probability: > 95%
- Developer: China Aviation Industry Corporation