China warships go ballistic with new mystery anti
China's People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) released a shocking video clip on April 19, showing an unidentified missile being fired from a Type 055 guided-missile cruiser. The new weapon is considered by most commentators to be an anti-ship ballistic missile, referred to by analysts under the nomenclature YJ-21. This means it is designed to target aircraft carriers, according to reports.
If this analysis of the YJ-21 turns out to be correct, it would mean that China would become the first country in the world to have operationally launched such a missile from a naval ship. Ballistic missiles are equipped with all modern technology, in which the launch path is a sub-orbital ballistic path. This missile is used to fire a weapon at a predetermined target.
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Video clip released
A video clip released by the People's Liberation Army Navy showed the YJ-21 being fired from the battleship Wuxi, a Type 055 cruiser that had been commissioned in Qingdao a month earlier, in March. It can be seen in the video clip that the new Chinese weapon has short wings and a biconic nose.
The missile's small control surfaces suggest that it is not a surface-to-air missile (SAM), but a class that requires extreme maneuvering to hit fast-moving aircraft. It is said to be the largest and most advanced destroyer in China's fleet.
No performance specifications are known about the YJ-21 yet, but it could have a range of anywhere from 1,000 km to 1,500 km. The South China Morning Post reported that the YJ-21 was credited with a terminal velocity of Mach 10, or ten times the speed of sound.
Earlier, the US Department of Defence (DoD) had suggested in 2020 that China would arm its Type 055cruisers with such type of missiles. The display of naval power came ahead of the Chinese navy’s 73rd anniversary last weekend.
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