Ground crews were loading an LS-500J (K/YJG500) LGB onto a PLAAF JH-7A fighter bomber. The bomb appears similar to Russian KAB-500L and its export version is called LT-2. It is the first such type of smart weapon to have entered the service with PLAAF, even though Chinese have been testing LGBs using Q-5 attack aircraft since 80s. Its development was completed in 2003 and the production followed. LS-500J's weight is 564kg, length 3530mm, diameter 377mm, range>10km, CEP≤6.5m, warhead 450kg. The LGB is guided by two parallel laser beams and flies an S-shaped trajectory as it approaches the target. However this mechanism has a relatively low accuracy and is susceptible to jamming and poor weather conditions. Three types of laser designator pods have been identified:K/JDC01 carried by JH-7A, K/JDC01A on J-10, K/PZS-01H carried by Q-5L. Besides Q-5L, LS-500J can also be carried by J-10. Overall LS-500J is comparable to American GBU-16 Paveway II LGB. The latest video (July 2016) indicated that PLAN JH-7A is also carrying the bomb.
- Last Updated 8/6/16
A244S/Yu-7K (courtesy of FK)
Acquired in the mid-80s from Italy, A244S Whitehead is the first generation of modern anti-submarine torpedo to have entered the service with PLAN. The 324mm torpedo has an active/passive acoustic homing to 13km at a speed of 30kt. It carries a 34kg warhead and weighs 254kg. A244S has been seen carried by Z-8 and Z-9C ASW helicopters (up to two under the fuselage) and become the primary aerial ASW weapon of PLAN. The other 324mm light torpedo also being carried by Z-8 and Z-9C is Yu-7K. It has been produced locally since 90s based on American MK-46 mod 1 technology obtained in the 80s. Yu-7K has an active/passive acoustic homing to 14km at a speed of 40kt. It carries a 45kg warhead, weighs 235kg and is propelled by OTTO fuel. Both A244S and Yu-7K are thought to have undergone upgrade programs (A244S mod 3 standard?) in recent years.
- Last Updated 11/7/12
KAB-1500KR (courtesy of fbc2000)
The most powerful type of PGM currently in service with PLAAF is the KAB-1500KR TV-guided bomb. As a heavy 1,500kg-class bomb with a 1,170kg warhead, KAB-1500KR can be used as "bunker busters" against fixed, "hard" targets such as hardened aircraft shelters and underground command centers. Its TV seeker locks the target before launch, therefore is drop-and-forget. However the bomb can only be dropped in a clear daylight condition, which limits its usage. The accuracy is about 4-7m. Up to 3 KA-1500KRs can be carried by Su-30MKK at a time. Interestingly, no laser-guided weapons were included in the Su-30MKK's weapon package as the indigenous LGBs became available onboard JH-7A and J-10.
- Last Updated 8/1/11
KAB-500KR TV-guided bomb is a smaller sibling of the heavy KAB-1500KR. It weighs 560kg and is armed with a 380kg armor piercing warhead. It can lock a static target from 15 to 17km distance in the visibility of 10km and is drop-and-forget. A training round without the warhead was also acquired. Like KAB-1500KR, KAB-500KR can also be used as "bunker busters" against fixed, "hard" targets. The accuracy is about 4m. Up to 6 KA-500KRs can be carried by an Su-30MKK at a time.
- Last Updated 5/28/15
Kh-59ME (courtesy of BFZS, 007)
A training round of Kh-59ME/AS-18 TV-guided stand-off ASM was being carried by a PLAAF Su-30MKK. The missile is a training round with forward stabilizing fins and engine removed. Powered by a small turbojet engine underneath its body, Kh-59ME is comparable to American AGM-84 SLAM and has a range of 115km. It weighs 920kg and carries a 320kg HE warhead. An APK-9E guidance pod is carried underneath the aircraft engine intake which transmits the TV and command signals. After launch, the missile can be guided either by its INS first (launching distance 40km) and then by the weapon control office during the final stage (~10km), or by the weapon control officer during its whole flight (launching distance 115km) who periodically checks the terrain and corrects the missile's flight path. Like other TV-guided PGMs, the biggest drawback of Kh-59ME is that it cannot be used at night or in bad weather conditions. An Su-30MKK normally carries two Kh-59ME ASMs.
- Last Updated 1/20/13
KD-63 (K/AKD63, initially designated as YJ-63) is the first generation of Chinese stand-off LACM which was first tested in 2000. The missile is believed to be based on HY-4/XW-41 AshMs and powered by an FW-41B turbojet engine. Its cruising speed is 900km/hr, max range 180km, min range 20km, cruising altitude 600m, length 7.0m, diameter 760mm, weight 2,000kg, warhead 500kg. It features INS midcourse and terminal man-in-the-loop guidance. A CCD camera is installed at the tip of the head section with a small UHF/VHF TV antenna on top of the head section. The TV seeker can lock a "typical" ground target (e.g. bunker) 12km away and achieve a CEP between 2-6m. The missile also features 4 tailfins in an "X" arrangement and a belly air intake. KD-63 is carried by the dedicated H-6H missile carrier which carries two missiles under the wings. The missile can also be carried by the newest H-6K as well. Recent images (February 2013) indicated an improved version (KD-63B) has entered the service as the primary weapon of H-6H. It features an IIR seeker replacing the TV seeker and has a new conformal datalink or GPS/Beidou antenna to replace the old TV antenna. KD-63B is capable of being fired in all-weather conditions and could have a fire-and-forget capability.
- Last Updated 12/29/16
KD-88 (K/AKD88) is a new generation ASM in service with PLAAF. It was developed by Hongdu Aviation Industrial Group in the early 2000s and is currently carried by JH-7A attack aircraft. The KD-88 family has been identified with at least two variants: the original variant with a CCD TV seeker, another variant with anIIR seeker.The missile's configuration and size appears similar to those of YJ-83K AShM. Its propulsion system is also thought to be a turbojet, and its range should reach ~200km. 4 small datalink antennas can been seen extending from the tips of mid-body stabilizing fins for man-in-the-loop terminal corrections. A guidance pod is needed to launch stand-off attacks. Up to 4 missiles can be carried by JH-7A at a time. Additional types of seeker including anti-radiation and MMW may be developed in the future. KD-88 has provided a much-needed enhancement to PLAAF's ground attack capability. Recent images indicated that KD-88 can also be carried by PLAN JH-7A maritime attack aircraft against enemy surface ships. Its export version was first unveiled at 2016 Zhuhai Airshow asTL-17.
- Last Updated 11/10/16
KD-9 and KD-10 (K/AKD9 and K/AKD10) are the new generation of ATGMs developed for Z-10 (KD-9 & 10) and Z-19 (KD-9) attack helicopters. Between them KD-9 is lighter and smaller while KD-10 is heavier and bigger. Up to 8 can be carried at a time. The missile appears in the same class of American AGM-114 Hellfire but without the forward control fins. It also features a semi-active laser seeker believed to have been derived from the one used by Russian Krasnopol 152mm laser-guided projectile (CEP≤3m). Therefore the missile is not fire-and-forget. It has been speculated that an MMW seeker is being developed for KD-9/KD-10, coupled with the new mast mounted MMW radar being tested on Z-19. KD-9/10 can also be fried from Z-9WZ attack helicopter, Mi-17V5 transport helicopter and Wing Loong UCAV, suggesting it is gradually replacing the old KD-8 ATGM. The export version of KD-10 is dubbed BA-7. Some specifications (KD-10): length 1,775mm, diameter 170mm, weight 46kg, range 2,000-7,000m, armor penetration 1,400mm. The latest images (August 2015) suggested that a new version (KD-10A) has been developed featuring a larger and improved laser seeker.
- Last Updated 6/24/16
KD-20 (K/AKD20 or DF-10K?) is the first generation of modern long range ALCM in the same class of American AGM-86 and Russian Kh-55, designed to attack a variety of fixed, high-value targets. Its configuration features a cylindrical body with two retractable wings, four foldable tailfins as well as a concealed belly engine inlet. However the missile appears to lack any significant stealth features. Based on CJ-10/DH-10/DF-10 land-based cruise missile which in turn adopted some Russian Kh-55 technology, KD-20 ALCM entered the service with PLAAF in the late 2000s, along with the dedicated H-6M missile carrier (up to 2) converted from earlier H-6Fs. Powered by a fuel-efficient turbofan engine, KD-20 can achieve a range between 1,500 and 2,000km, depending on the payload it carries. As a strategic weapon, it is capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warhead. However so far there is no indication that the missile is nuclear armed. KD-20 utilizes both INS and TERCOM guidance (coupled with GPS?) as indicated by a dark radar antenna under its nose. However it is unclear if the missile uses DSMAC guidance which gives a better accuracy. The missile can also be carried by the H-6K missile carrier (up to 6) which just entered the service. An improved version with a longer range (~2,500km) was rumored to have been under development. An anti-ship version called YJ-100 was rumored to be under development but this has not been confirmed. KD-20 is expected to be carried internally by the new H-20strategic stealth bomber still under development.