C-801 anti-ship missile

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Type Anti-ship & air-to-surface missiles
Place of origin China
Service history
In service early 1990s to present
Used by China
Wars Yemeni Civil War (2015-present)
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)[1]
Production history
Manufacturer China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation
Unit cost US$ 0.78  million[2]
Produced Late 1980’s to present (export)
Weight 815 kg
Length 5.81 meter
Warhead 165 kg

Engine rocket
Propellant solid rocket
42 km
Flight altitude 5 or 7 m
SpeedMach 0.9
Inertial navigation/active radar homing terminal guidance
Aerial, naval and land-based

The YJ-8 (Chinese: 鹰击-8; pinyin: yingji-8; literally: "eagle strike 8"; NATO reporting name: CSS-N-4 Sardine) is a Chinese surface-launched subsonic anti-ship cruise missile. It is manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) Third Academy.[3]

The YJ-8 was developed into air-launched (YJ-81) and submarine-launched (YJ-82) variants.[3]


The YJ-8 is either based on, or is a heavily modified copy of, the MM38 Exocet; the two missiles share virtually identical operational profiles. The replication of the MM38's "revolutionary flight profile" in less than ten years and with an immature industrial base strongly suggests that China had access to proven technology.[4]

The YJ-8 was a "radical departure" from China's first anti-ship missiles derived from the P-15 Termit. The YJ-8 carried a smaller warhead, but had the same range and speed while being significantly smaller and lighter.[4]


The development of the YJ-8 was approved in late-1976 following a few years of encouraging work on solid-fuel rockets. According to a 1991 Aerospace China article, development of the missile's engine began in 1978, and flight testing was completed in 1985. The YJ-8 reach initial operating capability in the People's Liberation Army Navy in 1987, the same year the export version - the C-801 - was announced.[4]

CASIC received the first National Science and Technology Advancement Award for development of the YJ-8 in 1988.[5]


The C-801 is the export version of the YJ-8.[4][3] The C-801 was not marketed after 2003.[4]


  • YJ-8: Basic version with fixed wings[4]
  • YJ-8A: Modified YJ-8 with folding wings.[4]
  • YJ-81: Air-launched version without the booster.[6]
  • YJ-82: Submarine-launched version.[3]
  • C-801: Export version of YJ-8.[4]
  • C-801K: Export version of the YJ-81.[6]
  • C-801Q: Export version of YJ-82.[6]


 People's Republic of China


  1. ^ a b Binnie, Jeremy (9 November 2017). "Yemeni rebels unveil anti-ship missiles". Jane's 360. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  2. ^ The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapons Systems, 1997-1998. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Gromley et al.: page 101
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Carlson, Christopher P. (4 February 2013). "China's Eagle Strike-Eight Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles: Designation Confusion and the Family Members from YJ-8 to YJ-8A". DefenseMediaNetwork. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ Zhao, Lei (10 January 2018). "Anti-ship cruise missile wins award". DefenseMediaNetwork. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Carlson, Christopher P. (6 February 2013). "China's Eagle Strike-Eight Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, Part 2". DefenseMediaNetwork. Retrieved 12 August 2018.