Man-Portable HJ-12 Anti-Tank Missile Makes PLA Debut In Tibet

(This was originally posted in Global Times by Liu Xuanzun)

China’s domestically developed HJ-12 man-portable anti-tank missile, previously known as a made-for-export weapon, is confirmed to be in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), after it made its debut in a recent exercise organized by the PLA Tibet Military Command. The top-attack, fire-and-forget missile, often compared with the US’ Javelin, can destroy any main battle tank in the world, and will significantly boost the PLA infantry forces’ anti-tank capabilities, experts said on Sunday.

A brigade affiliated with the PLA Tibet Military Command recently conducted a series of exercises deep in the plateau region, according to a statement the command released on Thursday. A photo attached to the statement shows that a soldier was carrying a portable anti-tank missile that can be carried by a single person during the exercise, and a report by Shanghai-based news website on Friday identified it as the HJ-12, as the weapon made its first public appearance in PLA service.

By providing individual soldiers with the capability to independently destroy a tank more effectively than older weapons, the commissioning of the HJ-12 will significantly boost the PLA’s anti-tank capabilities, observers said. Developed by the state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the HJ-12, or the Red Arrow 12, was put on exhibit for the first time at Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province.  Comparable with the US’ Javelin missile, the HJ-12 is equipped with an advanced focal plane array infrared guidance system with lock-on before launch and fire-and-forget systems, reported.

When performing a top-attack, the HJ-12 can destroy any type of main battle tank in the world, as the missile can penetrate homogeneous steel armor as thick as 1,100 millimeters protected by explosive reaction armor, quoted a report by China Central Television as saying. The HJ-12 also offers strong anti-jamming capabilities with more types of guidance systems, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times. In addition to tanks, the HJ-12 can launch precision strikes on hostile bunkers, fortifications and buildings, Wei said.

The export version of the HJ-12, the HJ-12E, saw its first delivery to an undisclosed foreign buyer in early 2020, NORINCO revealed in March that year, labeling the weapon as a high-end product. It was the first time a third-generation anti-tank weapon system developed by the Chinese company has been exported, NORINCO said in a statement, without disclosing the name of the buyer, the quantity purchased or the value of the deal.

Global Times

Kartik Sud

I am working as a News Author With the DefenceXP network, Observing LOC and LAC

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