Air Weapons: Chinese Air-To-Ground Missiles

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May 16, 2007: China has developed a powered smart bomb that is thought be called the KD-88. It's about the same size as the C-802 anti-ship missile (which is 21 feet long, 360mm in diameter, 1,500 pounds, with a 360 pound). China is not offering it for sale yet, so details are scant. The weapon has been seen carried by Chinese aircraft. The KD-88 appears to have an infrared (heat sensing) or TV guidance system and a turbojet engine similar to that found in other missiles, like the YJ-83K.. Such a system appears to have a range of at least a hundred kilometers, and the ability to hit small targets. Some have been seen with what appear to be radar homing sensors. That would make it ideal for taking out anti-aircraft systems, aircraft carriers or headquarters. The KD-88 has been shown most frequently with larger aircraft, like the JH7A. The Su-30 could probably handle it as well. The JH-7 is a 27 ton, twin engine aircraft, with a 40 foot wingspan. It is underpowered, and only has a five ton bomb load. But these new precision weapons would make the most of the JH-7, which is used mainly by the Chinese navy. The aircraft has an operational radius of about 900 kilometers, enabling it to contribute to an attack on Taiwan, or a blockade of the islands ports. The JH7A could carry four KD-88s.

 


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