C-801 anti-ship missile
|Type||Anti-ship & air-to-surface missiles|
|Place of origin||China|
|In service||early 1990s to present|
|Wars||Yemeni Civil War (2015-present)
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)
|Manufacturer||CHEMTA (China Sea Eagle Electromechanical Technology Academy), formerly the 3rd Design Academy of the Aerospace Ministry of China. Marketed by China Precision Machinery Import and Export Co. (CPMIEC)|
|Unit cost||US$ 0.78 million|
|Produced||Late 1980’s to present (export)|
|Weight||≈ 625 kg (excluding booster)|
|Length||≈ 5.81 meter|
|Diameter||≈ 360 mm|
|Warhead||165 kg high explosive|
|Impact / Proximity / semi-armor-piercing|
|Wingspan||≈ 1.18 meter|
|≈ 40 km|
|Flight ceiling||Max allowed by platform|
|Flight altitude||8 - 20 m|
|Speed||≈ Mach > 0.75+|
|ARH / PRH / TV guidance / Infrared homing|
|Aerial, naval and land-based|
C-801 is a subsonic Chinese anti-ship missile (AShM) developed in the 1980s, receiving NATO reporting name CSS-N-4 Sardine. Designated as YJ-8 (Chinese: 鹰击-8; pinyin: yīngjī-8; literally: "Eagle Strike 8"), this originally surface platform based missile would become the foundation based on which several other missiles developed, such as YJ-1, the submarine-launched version, and YJ-81, the air-launched version. More advanced missiles such as C-802 and C-803, as well as land strike and anti-radiation versions were also subsequently developed.
C-801 is a huge diversion from earlier Chinese anti-ship missiles such as HY/SY/FL AShMs in that its size has drastically reduced, and the layout was similar to that of contemporary western AShMs: the dimension of C-801 is extremely close to that of French Exocet, while the triple control surfaces of C-801 are almost identical to those found on the American Harpoon, and C-801 is sometimes referred by some as the Chinese Exocet. The compact size of C-801 provides it with distinct advantage over earlier HY/FL/SY missiles in that C-801 can be carried various platforms such as fighters and helicopter that previously could not carry large-sized missiles of earlier FL/HY/SY series, and shore-based batteries can carry more missiles in a single vehicle in comparison to earlier AShMs.
The compact size of C-801 also made it obvious candidate for a submarine-launched version, first deployed on board a modified Romeo Class submarine designated as Type 033G, with NATO reporting name Wuhan A class, carrying 6 missiles, 3 on each side of the sail. Originally, the submarine must surface to fire the missiles, and only a single unit went into the service for trial purposes, but the same boat was also participated heavily in the development of a submerged-launched version launched from torpedo tubes designated as YJ-1. Once YJ-1 was successfully developed, it became a primary weapon for other Chinese submarines for more than a decade until be superseded by the submerged-launched version of C-801 follow-on such as C-802. Although superseded by its follow on, C-801 still remains in low-scale production for export, with one of the biggest customer being Iran.
- YJ-8: Basic version with fixed wings.
- YJ-8A: Modified YJ-8 with folding wings.
- C-801: Export version that is compatible with non-Chinese fire control system, with Thailand and Yemen as customers. With the availability of more advanced AShMs, C-801 is no longer actively marketed after 2003. Also reported to have a different seeker operating at frequencies different than that of YJ-8/8A, and also different wiring/cables to accommodate interfaces to NATO standard..
- YJ-81: Air-launched version without the booster.
- C-801K: Export version of YJ-81, difference between the two is similar to those of surface-launched counterparts. Iran is the first known export customer.
- YJ-82: Submarine-launched version with launching method very similar to that of Harpoon.
- C-801Q: Export version of YJ-82. Iran is rumored to be one of the first customers.
- CM-708UN: successor to C-801Q with range increased to 55 km.
- The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapons Systems, 1997-1998. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "C-801". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "YJ91_01". SinoDefence. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Type 033G Wuhan-A class
- "YJ-8 & 8A". Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "YJ-8 & 8A AShM". Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "CM-708UN". Retrieved November 12, 2014.