CX-1 ramjet missile - Test fire.

CX-1 (like P-800 Oniks/Brahmos)

China’s 10th Zhuhai Airshow does not start until next Tuesday, but it already has one new rock-star on the Chinese military-blogosphere, the new CX-1 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). Already, scores of images of its full-size display mock-up show an uncanny resemblance to another famous supersonic ASCM, the Mach 2.8-3.0 speed Russian-Indian BrahMos. Both share the distinctive cone-inlet air intake, a two-stage structure and similar dimensions.
There is so far no official data yet on CX-1 and it is not clear if there is a version bound for Chinese service. Chinese reports do say its range is between 50km and 280km. This means it is likely an export model to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). It is initially being marketed as a ground-launched anti-ship cruise missile that can be used in concert with other CALT products like the M-20 short-range ballistic missile and several artillery rockets, cued by unmanned aerial vehicles. Later versions are expected to be vertically-launched from ships and perhaps submarines.

While there is no confirmation that Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia sold CALT the technology from its Yakhont supersonic ASCM as it did to India to provide the basis for BrahMos, this should not be surprising. India and Russia have Russian-made NPO Mashinostroyenia 3M-54 Club supersonic terminal-stage ASCMs and Zvezda Kh-31 supersonic anti-radar/ship missiles. But China has also purchased or otherwise acquired the technology to produce its own versions, the larger and longer-range YJ-12, now in Chinese service, is based on Zvezda technology and the YJ-18 is believed to be a shorter range version of the 3M-54. So CALT’s CX-1 is likely China’s third “Russian” supersonic ASCM.   CX-1 missile




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