Surface Forces: Little Catamaran With Big Teeth


August 8, 2009: China is apparently happy with its new catamaran Type 022 " Houbei" missile boats. They have built 40 so far, and production continues. The 220 ton, 132 foot (42.6 meter) boats have a top speed of 65 kilometers an hour and a crew of twelve.

These boats are heavily armed, with a six barrel, 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense, a battery of twelve QW-1 short range (5, Russian SAM-7 type) anti-aircraft missiles, and eight two ton Hongniao land attack cruise missiles (based on the Russian Kh-55, with a range of about 1,500 kilometers). More often, the cruise missiles are replaced with eight .7 ton C-802 anti-ship missiles (189 kilometers range).

The 022s require other ships or aircraft to provide targeting data for the anti-ship missiles, while the cruise missiles can be programmed with coordinates, and guided by GPS (or similar satellite system).   The endurance of these ships is short, normally not more than a few days. The 022s are meant for coastal defense, or offensive operations against nearby objectives, like Taiwan.


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