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Type Anti-ship cruise missile
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Service history
In service ~2015-present
Used by People's Liberation Army Navy
Weight 2,500 kg (5,500 lb)[citation needed]
Length 6.3 m (21 ft)[1]
Diameter 0.756 m (2.48 ft)[1]
Warhead 205–500 kg (452–1,102 lb)[2][3]

Engine integrated ramjet/booster propulsion system[4]
250–400 km (160–250 mi; 130–220 nmi)[4][2] (depending on altitude)
Speed Mach 2-4[1][2] (depending on altitude)
Inertial navigation system (INS)/Beidou navigation system[5]
Terminal guidance

The YJ-12 (Chinese: 鹰击-12; pinyin: yingji-12; literally: "eagle strike 12") is a Chinese supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.


The YJ-12 is an air-launched missile[6] that resembles a lengthened Kh-31[4] and is close in shape to the GQM-163 Coyote aerial target.[1]

A 2011 article in the United States Naval War College Review credited the "YJ-91/YJ-12" with a range of 400 km and a 205 kg high explosive warhead, compared to the 130 km (81 mi; 70 nmi) range of a Harpoon anti-ship missile. Furthermore, an aircraft could launch the "YJ-91/YJ-12" while still 230 km beyond the range of SM-2 and Sparrow anti-air missiles, which have ranges of less than 170 km.[3][7] According to Chinese sources, the YJ-12 has a speed of around Mach 2 if launched from low altitude and up to Mach 3.2 if launched from high altitude, with a maximum range of around 380 km (240 mi; 210 nmi) depending on launch altitude; terminal attack altitude is 15 meters.[1] In a September 2014 article published in Joint Forces Quarterly, the missile was credited with a range of up to 250 km and a speed of Mach 2.5.[4] In February 2015, military expert Li Li claimed the YJ-12 has a 400–500 kg (880–1,100 lb) warhead and a range of 300 km (190 mi; 160 nmi) when traveling at Mach 3, or 400 km at a speed of Mach 4.[2] Speed and range varies on launch altitude and flight path, achieving maximum performance at an altitude of 40 km (130,000 ft) and degrading as it gets lower. Although actual warhead weight may be roughly 200 kg, its supersonic speed enables lethality equivalent to a subsonic missile equipped with a 400-500 kg warhead.[5]

A saturation attack by YJ-12's fired at long range would pose a grave threat to American carrier strike groups; once the wave of sea-skimming missiles appeared over the horizon and was detected by ships' own sensors, they would only have some 45 seconds to engage before impact and if there were enough, short range defenses would be overwhelmed. Given that fighters such as the Su-30MKK and J-11B have a combat radius of about 1,500 km, equipping them with the YJ-12 gives them a potential strike range out to 1,900 km (1,200 mi; 1,000 nmi). The U.S. Navy's counter is to use the Cooperative Engagement Capability to detect and destroy the YJ-12's launch aircraft with SM-6 missiles and fighters at long range before they can be fired.[8]

It has been test-launched from Xian H-6 bombers[9] and will be fitted on the JH-7B.[1] Reportedly, they may also be launched from the J-10, Su-30MKK, the J-11, and J-16.[10]


In August 2000, the Chinese unveiled a model of an air-launched missile labelled as the YJ-91, resembling the French Air-Sol Moyenne Portée. Later, a similar looking missile was seen that may have been designated as the YJ-12. Jane's reported that a YJ-12A was supposedly in development in 2004. The YJ-91 designation ultimately went to the Chinese development of the Russian Kh-31.[11] The YJ-12 ultimately resembled a lengthened Kh-31.[4]

The YJ-12 appeared at the 2015 China Victory Day Parade,[12] indicating that the missile had entered active service since all weapons showcased during the parade are actively inducted prior to the parade.[13]


The CM-400AKG is an air-launched supersonic surface attack cruise missile, believed to be the export version of the YJ-12.[14] The 910 kg (2,000 lb) missile is 0.4 m (1.3 ft) in diameter and has a range of between 54–130 nmi (62–150 mi; 100–241 km) while carrying either a 150 kg (330 lb) blast or 200 kg (440 lb) penetration warhead. It has three guidance options, including inertial navigation system (INS) coupled with satellite positioning to get within 50 m, an onboard IR/TV seeker for terminal guidance and 5 m accuracy, and passive radar to supplement the seeker, which delivers (strangely worse) 5-10 m accuracy. One unusual characteristic is that it does not fly at low altitude to avoid detection, but rather uses “high altitude launching” to achieve “higher aircraft survivability.”[15] It may have a top speed of Mach 5.[16]

The missile was bought by Pakistan to equip the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder and has entered service in 2012.[17] Pakistan Air Force officers described the missile as "a hypersonic aircraft carrier killer" (despite potentially traveling at only Mach 4).[18] In 2015, a Pakistani official declined to confirm or deny that the missile was in service.[16]

See also[edit]

Related development

Comparable missiles


  1. ^ a b c d e f New Chinese supersonic anti-ship missile "YJ-12" fitted on PLAN's H-6G bomber - Navyrecognition.com, 20 January 2014
  2. ^ a b c d Renjie, Guo, ed. (4 February 2015). "China's anti-ship missiles YJ-12 and YJ-100 revealed". China Military Online. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.14
  4. ^ a b c d e Gormley, Dennis M.; Erickson, Andrew S.; Yuan, Jingdong (30 September 2014). "A Potent Vector: Assessing Chinese Cruise Missile Developments". Joint Forces Quarterly. National Defense University (75): 102. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b YJ-12 - Deagel.com
  6. ^ Dutton, Peter; Erickson, Andrew S.; Martinson, Ryan, eds. (February 2014). China's Near Seas Combat Capabilities (Report). China Maritime Studies. 11. United States Naval War College. p. 20. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.25
  8. ^ Haddick, Robert (2 July 2014). "China's Most Dangerous Missile (So Far)". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  9. ^ United States Office of the Secretary of Defense (8 May 2015). Annual Report To Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015 (PDF) (Report). p. 46. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (12 January 2015). "Images suggest J-10Bs close to entering Chinese service". janes.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "YJ-91/YJ-12 (China), Offensive weapons". janes.com. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (4 September 2015). "China showcases new weapon systems at 3 September parade". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "陈士强:抗战胜利70周年纪念活动充分展示我军战斗力--军事--人民网". military.people.com.cn. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 
  14. ^ "Chinese Mighty Mystery Missile". StrategyPage.com. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Trimble, Stephen (19 November 2013). "DUBAI: China details performance of 'carrier killer' missile for JF-17". Flightglobal. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (17 June 2015). "Paris Air Show 2015: JF-17 fighter flying with indigenous Chinese turbofan". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  17. ^ SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. "Transfers and licensed production of major conventional weapons". Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  18. ^ Hewson, Robert (15 November 2012). "Airshow China 2012: CM-400AKG becomes Pakistan's 'carrier killer'". IHS Jane's 360. [dead link]