We all know about Pakistan’s growing JF17 fleet which had pleasantly shown its superiority in 2019 against Indian MiG 21s. However, David Axe, the defense editor of The National Interest, in a blog talks about Pakistan’s readiness to battle the Indian growing Naval fleet.
According to him, Pakistan’s newest fighter jet could launch a powerful, but strange, new anti-ship missile.
In 2017 and 2018, Pakistan Airforce bought 60 CM-400AKG anti-ship to aid the single-engine JF-17s target warships such as India’s growing fleet of aircraft carriers.
In Mr. Axe’s view, the CM-400AKG is an unusual weapon. Unlike many anti-ship missiles out there, this product of Aviation Industry Corporation of China follows a high ballistic flight path.
The supersonic standoff missile made its first public appearance at an air show in Zhuhai, China in 2012. The missile appeared in a display with the JF-17, a highly evolved derivative of the MiG-21 that China sold to Pakistan, and later became the primary user of. The $30 million planes were sold to Nigeria and Myanmar too.
Read More: JF-17 fighter jet gets major upgradation
Today, Pakistan and China are jointly producing the JF 17s for more than 13 years now, with 132 units being built till 2020.
In 2018, the Pakistani defense ministry revealed that it purchased 60 CM-400AKGs at a total cost of $100 million. The acquisition transformed the country’s JF-17s into potent ship-killers.
Source: Top War
In 2018 photos circulated apparently depicting a JF-17 firing a CM-400AKG in a test that perhaps took place a few years earlier.
According to media reports, other export contracts have been reported. Chinese aircraft manufacturers continue to carry their exhibitions of FC-1 aircraft and weapons for them. Such an advertisement may do its job shortly, and thanks to it, a new order from a particular country will appear.
The CM-400AKG anti-ship missile has a length of approx. 6 m with a diameter (without planes) of 400 mm. Starting weight – 910 kg. In this case, the product carries a warhead of one of two types weighing 150 or 200 kg. On the trajectory, the RCC accelerates to speeds of the order of M = 5. Launch range – from 100 to 240 km. Declared high accuracy hit.
Two options for combat equipment are proposed. The first CM-400AKG is equipped with a 150-kg high-explosive warhead. The second option involves a 200-kg penetrating warhead.
Such warheads provide for the defeat of surface targets with a displacement of 3-5 thousand tons. Thus, one missile can disable an enemy frigate or destroyer.
The tail compartment of the housing accommodates a single-stage solid-fuel engine. Its characteristics are sufficient to accelerate the rocket to high supersonic speed and deliver the warhead 200-240 km. The engine is started immediately after the rocket is dropped from the carrier aircraft.
The missile boasts an internal navigation system that guides it near its target, at which point a combination of infrared- and radar-seeker takes over. Sources claim the weapon’s circular-error probability is as small as 15 feet, meaning it has a 50-50 chance of striking within 15 feet of its Aimpoint.
The CM-400AKG reportedly can maneuver in its final seconds of flight, helping it to dodge enemy defenses. It tops out at five times the speed of sound, sources claim.
According to David Axe, some observers have pointed to the CM-400AKG’s high speed to draw comparisons with the Indian armed forces’ own Brahmos cruise missile.
The CM-400AKG’s size, range, and accuracy are consistent with the capabilities of other anti-ship weapons. What’s odd is the weapon’s flight profile.
Most anti-ship missiles launch from low altitudes to avoid detection.
However, the CM-400AKG missile is proposed to be launched at altitudes from 8 to 12 thousand meters at high subsonic carrier speeds.
After separation from the aircraft, the rocket starts the engine and continues flying at a considerable height. It is assumed that such a flight profile of the aircraft and missiles can reduce the likelihood of their destruction by enemy air defense systems.
The weapon’s apparent origin as a development of the SY-400 short-range ballistic missile could explain this odd profile. The CM-400AKG like other high-flying ballistic missiles consumes solid fuel and does not require an air inlet. Lower-flying weapons often combine liquid fuel and an air-breathing motor.