China has developed a hypersonic Aircraft carrier killer missile and has been deployed by the PAF.
The missile has been described as the PAF’s Hypersonic ‘Carrier Killer Missile’
Pakistan has deployed a new hypersonic long-range air-launched missile that officials in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have described as “a hypersonic aircraft carrier killer missile”.
The CM-400AKG is a Mach 4 plus-capable air-to-surface weapon developed in China and now in service with JF-17 fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force. The weapon, designated CM-400AKG, was designed and developed in China by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) and was revealed at Airshow China 2012, held in Zhuhai in November.
The CM-400AKG is now part of the operational weapon set of the PAF’s JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter. “This is a mature weapon that has been fully tested. It is not conceptual. It is in service,” Air Commodore Mahmood Khalid, PAF JF-17 Deputy Project Director stated. “The CM-400AKG is a very high-speed missile that is very tough to intercept. It hits the target at Mach 4 or above and its kinetic impact alone is enough to destroy any high-value target, like an aircraft carrier.”
The CM-400AKG first appeared, briefly, in public at last year’s Dubai Airshow, when a placard for the weapon was placed alongside a PAF JF-17 – and then removed. The weapon itself was not shown. At the time PAF personnel acknowledged it was a new Chinese-built air-to-surface stand-off missile. However, the initial assumption that it was a derivative of the C-802 anti-ship missile has proved to be very wide of the mark.
The CM-400AKG is a 400 kg solid-rocket-powered weapon that can be fitted with either a penetration or blast/fragmentation warhead. It is a fire-and-forget precision-guided weapon that can be fitted with several seeker options, which are understood to include an active radar seeker and an imaging infrared seeker with target-recognition (TR) capabilities. PAF sources say the missile can be pre-programmed with digital imagery for highly precise attacks against fixed sites in TR mode, but it can also be re-targeted in flight by using the radar seeker option.
The range of the CM-400AKG is estimated to be in the 200-250 km class(Indian navy ships will need to be at max 200km away from Pakistani coastline, to enforce an effective blockade). It is designed for use against fixed or what were described as “slow moving” targets. CASIC data indicates that after launch the CM-400AKG climbs to high altitude and terminates with a high-speed dive on the target. The PAF describes the missile’s impact velocity as “hypersonic” (> Mach 5).
Both CASIC and the PAF note that the CM-400AKG has been developed as a JF-17 Aircraft carrier killer weapon. The PAF currently has two squadrons of approximately 36 JF-17s operational.