China: April 12, 2001


China is seeking new anti-ship missiles to improve its combat capabilities. It will buy Russian Kh-35 (AS-20 Kayak) missiles to mount on its Su-30MKK fighters. This could mean that the latest batch of these aircraft will be assigned to naval aviation. The Kh-35 has a speed of 300m/second (671 miles per hour) and carries a 145kg high explosive warhead to a range of 130km+. The Chinese have begun modifying JH-7 fighters to carry Kh-31 (AS-17 Krypton) missiles. The fighters should also be able to carry the Kh-31P anti-radiation missile, which China already builds for itself as the KR-1. In an unrelated note, J-8D fighters have been seen with R27 (AA10 Alamo) missiles bought from Ukraine or Russia. Apparently, the Chinese have recently obtained the necessary software to fit this missile to their J-8 fighter series. Radar-guided and passive radar-seeking versions of the R27 are known to be in service with Russia, Ukraine, and China.--Stephen V Cole


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