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Submarine-Launched Variant of China's YJ-18 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Emerges
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YJ 18 submarine launched antiship missile 1
Pictures have emerged in China of a new submarine-launched variant of the YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missile. The pictures show two slides from a presentation given by a retired People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) Rear Admiral at a Univertisty in August.
 
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Naval Forces News - China
 
 
 
Submarine-Launched Variant of China's YJ-18 Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Emerges
 
Pictures have emerged in China of a new submarine-launched variant of the YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missile. The pictures show two slides from a presentation given by a retired People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) Rear Admiral at a Univertisty in August.
     
YJ 18 submarine launched antiship missile 1Launch capsule of the YJ-18 submarine launched variant
     
The first picture shows a launch capsule (the vehicle for the underwater part of the launch) which appears similar in shape and size to the Russian Kalibr capsule. The second image shows the missile breaking the surface during a test launch.

While some open sources refer to the submarine launch variant of YJ-18 as "YJ-18B" this has never been officially confirmed and the top of the slides actually reads "YJ-18 subsonic/supersonic anti-ship guided missile". Other variants reportedly include a ship launched land attack cruise missile, a ship launched anti-ship missile and a truck launched anti-ship missile.
     
YJ 18 submarine launched antiship missile 2YJ-18 submarine launched variant breaking the surface during a test launch
     
As we mentionned in August 2015, Chinese media claim the YJ-18 system is designed for the destruction of various surface ships from an enemy’s landing squadrons, convoys, carrier strike groups, as well as single vessels and land-based radiocontrast targets in conditions of intensive fire and electronic countermeasures.

In its surface launched variant, the vertical launch the missile’s turbojet engine is reportedly capable of flying at a cruise speed of Mach 0.8 for about 180 kilometers after that point the warhead section separates and a solid rocket engine ignites allowing a top speed of Mach 2.5-3 for about 40 kilometers. Because of these flight characteristics, some Western analysts believe the YJ-18 is based on the Russian Kalibr/Klub 3M-54E.

According to Chinese sources, the missile can maneuver at 10G acceleration to avoid enemy interception by air-to-air or surface-air missiles.
     
Loading of a Kalibr cruise missile aboard a Kilo-class submarineLoading of a Kalibr cruise missile aboard a Kilo-class submarine
     
More recent sources claim the submarine launched variant of YJ-18 has a range of 500 kilometers (270 nautical miles) with a terminal speed of Mach 2 and terminal altitude lower than Kalibr/Klub 3M-54.
     
YJ-18A test launch video
     
The above video released in August 2015 shows a YJ-18A test launch from one of the two Type 909 test ship of the PLAN. These vessels can be fitted with various weapon and sensor systems and serve as test beds for the PLAN's future systems.