China Reveals Short-Range Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Designed To Dodge Enemy Defenses

China is hardly a stranger to developing medium- and intermediate-range anti-ship ballistic missiles with maneuvering warheads to help exert authority over its broad territorial claims and deny opponents access to wide areas during potential regional conflicts. Now the Chinese have unveiled a new, short-range ballistic missile that could arm shore batteries, its future Type 055 destroyers, and make its way onto the export market as well.

The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) publicly unveiled the new missile, called the CM-401, at the biennial Zhuhai Airshow, which officially kicked off on Nov. 6, 2018, and also serves as a general arms expo. CASIC had two launch platforms on display at the event, an 8×8 truck-mounted type with two missiles inside self-contained launch canisters and what appeared to be a deck launcher for ships, also with two self-contained missiles.

There are few detailed specifics about the weapon and its launchers so far, but observers believe that the missile itself has a maximum diameter of approximately 2.8 feet. This is similar to that of the Russian Iskander-M quasi-ballistic missile. The CM-401’s general shape looks similar to Russia’s missile, but it appears to be smaller overall.


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