China has deployed and test fired the YJ-62 anti-ship missile, a rough equivalent to America’s RGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile. Reports of the test firing of the YJ-62 anti-ship missile took place on Woody Island, also known as Yongxing Island by the Chinese, in the South China Sea. The YJ-62 has a range of 280km (150 NM) and is designed to sink warships weighing above 3,000 tonnes. The Pentagon has had growing concerns over Beijing’s militarization of the strategic waterway.
In recent months China has produced some 3,200 acres on land by dredging the sea floor and building new islands. The speed and scale of China’s island-building has alarmed other countries with interests in this region as well. China’s foothold in the South China Sea has been bolstered with the addition of multiple airstrips and anti-ship missile installations. It is thought that China could deploy the equivalent of a new naval fleet by 2020.
YJ-62 / C-602
The YJ-62 anti-shipping cruise missile is the PLAN counterpart to the anti-shipping variant of the RGM-109 Tomahawk, and has a generally similar configuration to the Tomahawk. However, compared to the Tomahawk, fins are rather smaller, more forward of the exhaust, and disposed X rather than T. The air scoop inlet is rather larger, and fixed rather than deployable. The YJ-62 / C-602 is a medium-range, sea-skimming cruise missile that can be launched from air, land or sea. Despite carrying the development variant designation of the YJ-6 (C-601, SS-N-2 Styx copy, NATO reporting name: CAS-1 Kraken) anti-ship missile family, the new YJ-62 bears little resemblance to the YJ-6. The missile body of the YJ-62 appears to be much slimmer and lighter, and clearly a more modern design than the YJ-6.
Each missile carries a 300 kg armor-piercing high-explosive warhead. The C602 wings can be folded back, and the location of the fixed scoop inlet is on the ventral side of the missile, mounted slightly forward of the cruciform tail fins. It uses a turbojet engine, and can reach a maximum range of 280 km and a minimum range of 40-60 kilometers. The YJ-62 has high subsonic speed, with a maximum flight speed of about Mach 0.6-0.8. The cruise height of 30 meters, and the last segment of the flight can go down to an altitude of 7-10 meters. The YJ-62 is still making use of the Chinese anti-ship missile active radar guidance system, the specific form an agile monopulse radar system. The role of airborne radar from a distance of 40 kilometers, while the small YJ-83 (C-803) anti-ship missiles, airborne radar missile range is only 25 kilometers. The YJ-62 radar may be plus or minus 40 degrees to the sea fan search.
The PLA completed an upgrade to the ground-launched YJ-62 ASCM in 2008. The new variant, the YJ-62C, has a range of more than 150 NM. According to press reports, by 2009 the PLA Navy had deployed 120 YJ-62Cs to naval bases in Fujian province, across from Taiwan.