China’s Norinco announces first export of HJ-12E ATGW system

Gabriel Dominguez, London and Juan Ju, Bonn – Jane’s Defence Weekly

31 March 2020

The China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) announced on 25 March that it has completed deliveries of its Red Arrow 12E (‘Hongjian-12E’, or HJ-12E) man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system to a foreign customer.

The company said via its WeChat account that the move marked the first export of its third-generation ATGW but did not provide any details about the contract value, the identity of the customer, or the number of systems exported.

The HJ-12E is the export variant of the HJ-12, which is presumed to be in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Ground Force.

A full-scale mock-up of the system was first shown at the 2014 Airshow China, with a company spokesperson telling Jane’s at the time that the HJ-12, which weighs up to 22 kg and uses a 1.25 m-long launch tube, is the first man-portable ATGW system to be fully developed in China.

The spokesperson claimed that it is also the first Chinese ATGW system to feature a fire-and-forget capability, enabling operators to withdraw swiftly after a missile launch and improve their survivability. The system also has a soft-launch capability that allows for the missile to be launched within confined spaces such as within a building or a bunker.

According to Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Firepower, Survivability & Mobility the HJ-12 has similar capabilities to the widely deployed and combat-proven US Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin man-portable ATGW system.

The missile of the HJ-12 system has a diameter of 140 mm and is fitted with a tandem, high-explosive, anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to be able to penetrate up to 1,100 mm of rolled homogenous armour (RHA) protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).

Source: Jane’s “China’s Norinco announces first export of HJ-12E ATGW system”

Note: This is Jane’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s view

Further Speculation about China’s Mysterious Missile Carried by J-16

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In my post yesterday titled “Further Information of China’s New PL-15 Long-Range Air-to-air Missile”, the new missile carried by J-16 appeared in Internet photos is regarded as China’s homegrown long-range air-to-air missile (LRAAM) according to Singapore’s and that provides the above four photos of J-16 carrying the missile, however, says in its report “China’s J-16 Fighter Jet & Its New Mysterious Missile (Photos)” that “Combat Aircraft” military magazine has three main versions of speculation about the mysterious missile. Full text of’s report is given below:

Photos, showing the Shenyang J-16 fighter jet of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), carrying a huge missile under its wing, at an unknown location were published online on Monday. According to initial analysis, the length of the missile is almost six meters.

According to the Combat Aircraft military magazine, the missile in the photos, apparently, is a new Chinese air-launched missile.

The magazine has three main versions about the mysterious missile.

Firstly, it could be “an ultra-long-range weapon intended to defeat high-value assets such as E-3 AWACS surveillance aircraft or RC-135 intelligence-gatherers.” However, Combat Aircraft also noted that if it is such a kind of missile, “it is somewhat surprising” to see that the J-16, which has “a primary air-to-ground role,” carrying it.

Secondly, the magazine presumed that the photos could show an “anti-satellite weapon, equivalent to the ASAT that was tested from the US Air Force F-15A Eagle in the early 1980s.” As the author of the article noted, anti-satellite weapons have been actively being tested by China for some years now, however, “these have not as yet been intended for launch by fighters.”

Another assumption is that the “new missile is not an AAM at all, but an anti-radar missile” – a fully indigenous follow-on to the YJ-91, a Chinese version of the Soviet Kh-31.

Source: “China’s J-16 Fighter Jet & Its New Mysterious Missile (Photos)”