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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DH-10 / CH-10 / CJ-10
Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM)
Hong Niao / Chang Feng / Dong Hai-10

Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are usually categorized by intended mission and launch mode (instead of maximum range). The two broadest categories are Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) and antiship cruise missiles [ASCM]. Each type can be launched from an aircraft, ship, submarine, or ground-based launcher. A LACM is an unmanned, armed aerial vehicle designed to attack a fixed or mobile ground-based target. It spends the majority of its mission in level flight, as it follows a preprogrammed path to a predetermined target. Propulsion is usually provided by a small jet engine. Because of highly accurate guidance systems that can place the missile within a few feet of the intended target, the most advanced LACMs can be used effectively against very small targets, even when armed with conventional warheads.

LACM guidance usually occurs in three phases: launch, midcourse, and terminal. During the launch phase, a missile is guided using only the inertial navigation system. In the midcourse phase, a missile is guided by the inertial navigation system updated by one or more of the following systems: a radar-based terrain contour matching system, a radar or optical scene matching system, and/or a satellite navigation system such as the US Global Positioning System or the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System. The terminal guidance phase begins when a missile enters the target area and uses either more accurate scene matching or a terminal seeker (usually an optical or radar-based sensor).

Defending against LACMs will stress air defense systems. Cruise missiles can fly at low altitudes to stay below enemy radar and, in some cases, hide behind terrain features. Newer missiles are incorporating stealth features to make them even less visible to radars and infrared detectors. Modern cruise missiles also can be programmed to approach and attack a target in the most efficient manner. For example, multiple missiles can attack a target simultaneously from different directions, overwhelming air defenses at their weakest points. Furthermore, LACMs may fly circuitous routes to get to the target, thereby avoiding radar and air defense installations. Some developmental systems may incorporate chaff or decoys as an added layer of protection, though concealment will remain a cruise missile’s main defense.

China has developed land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) for theater warfighting and strategic attack. These cruise missiles seem to have a relatively high development priority to ensure that Chinese forces will have greater conventional firepower. Long-range cruise missiles probably will also be used to bolster the viability of Chinese oncentional military deterrence. The first LACM design produced probably will be air-launched from Chinese bombers. China could develop a sea-launched version for use on either submarines or surface combatants. Some reports claim that a long-range land attack cruise missile will be fired from the torpedo tubes of the new Chinese Type 093 attack submarines.

Chinese LACM R&D was aided by an energetic effort to acquire foreign cruise missile technology, particularly from Russia. China also seeks enabling technologies and subsystems from the United States and other foreign countries. It has been reported that that China transported cruise missile production facilities from Russia to a location in the vicinity of Shanghai in 1993, and recruited cruise missile engineering specialists from Russia in 1995 and. It is also reported that China has obtained technical data concerning a Russian cruise missile guidance system.

The guidance system represents the most significant challenge for a long-range cruise missile program. The Chinese cruise missile is likely going to be equipped with a multiple guidance system with an inertial navigation system (INS), global positioning system (GPS), and terrain comparison (TERCOM).

China would require an extensive database of accurate topographic information to use terrain comparison (TERCOM) guidance. But TERCOM would probably be relatively ineffective in areas such as the South China Sea, which present few navigational reference points. Published reports suggest that GPS would initially be used as the primary guidance system, possibly to be supplemented subsequently with TERCOM.

The potential use of the American GPS system would render this system vulnerable to jamming of the unencrypted civil signal (CA code) from GPS satellites within view of the Chinese area of operations, or to local jamming and spoofing in the target area. Chinese cruise missiles could still find their targets using inertial navigation system (INS) technology, but without GPS updates they would be significantly less accurate.

It is likely that even if the US tried to deny GPS signals to China, the PLA’s cruise missiles could still function via the Russian GLONASS, or in the future the European GALILEO navigation signals. China is also developing its own Beidou “Compass Satellite Navigation System”, which would eventually comprise 5 Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites and 30 medium Earth orbit satellites to provide a global cover.

China is experienced in small turbofan engine technology. China has developed a range of small turbojet engines to power its anti-ship cruise missiles such as HY-4 (C-401) and YJ-82 (C-802). China is also actively seeking to develop the more advanced turbofan engine for its next generation fighter aircraft. China has developed 16.87kN thrust WS-11 turbofan engine to power its JL-8/K-8 jet trainer aircraft. The same technology can used to develop a suitable turbofan engine for the cruise missile.

The DH-10 / CJ-10 has a superficial family resemblance to the YJ-62 / C-602 Anti-Shipping Cruise Missile [ASCM], but there are important differences. The YJ-62 cruise missile is a PLAN analog to the anti-shipping variants of the RGM-109 Tomahawk/MRASM. The weapon has a similar general configuration to the Tomahawk family, but employs a unique fixed scoop inlet for the air breathing engine. Cited specifications include a length of 6.1/7.0 meters, launch mass of 1,140/1,350 kg, warhead mass of 300 kg, cruise speed of 0.9 Mach, range for turbojet variant of 280 km / 150 NMI.

On November 14, 2016, the data briefly published by the Communist Youth League on its official website Weibo showed that the Chinese Rocket Army was currently equipped with 3,000 "Changjian-10" series cruise missiles, but this number seems high. While Beijing has never made public the size of its missile arsenal, the Communist Youth League has posted some figures about the PLARF, showing it's roughly 100,000-men strong and has 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 300 medium-range ballistic missiles. It also has 1,150 short-range ballistic missiles and 3,000 cruise missiles of all types, according to the group, which is the youth wing of the Communist Party.

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