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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)
Length 7 m (23 ft)
Diameter 0.6 m (2.0 ft)
Warhead 205–500 kg (452–1,102 lb)[1][2]

Engine integrated ramjet/booster propulsion system[3]
250–400 km (160–250 mi; 130–220 nmi)[3][1]
Speed Mach 2.5-4[3][1]

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[4] that resembles a lengthened Kh-31.[3]

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.[2][5]

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.[3]

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.[1]

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.[6]

It has been test-launched from Xian H-6 bombers.[7] Reportedly, they may also be launched from the Su-30MKK, the J-11, and the J-16.[8]


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.[9] The YJ-12 ultimately resembled a lengthened Kh-31.[3]

The YJ-12 appeared at the 2015 China Victory Day Parade,[10] indicating that the missile has entered active service since all weapons showcased during the parade are actively inducted prior to the parade.[11]

See also[edit]

Related development

Comparable missiles


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.14
  3. ^ a b c d e f 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.25
  6. ^ Haddick, Robert (2 July 2014). "China’s Most Dangerous Missile (So Far)". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (12 January 2015). "Images suggest J-10Bs close to entering Chinese service". janes.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "YJ-91/YJ-12 (China), Offensive weapons". janes.com. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (4 September 2015). "China showcases new weapon systems at 3 September parade". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "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.