|An armored HJ-10 BVR anti-tank missile launch vehicle|
|Inside HJ-10 launch vehicle|
HJ-10 top-attack ATGM launching
Current version HJ-9 anti-tank missile with a range of 5,000 meters beyond the range of the gun of enemy tank. HJ-9 missile is not for beyond visual range (BVR) attack.
In 2011, China completed its research and development of HJ-10 BVR antitank missile with range of 10 and 25 km.
The missile is for hitting enemy tank found by drone or satellite but as a tank moves quite fast, GPS information cannot guide an antitank missile in hitting a tank beyond visual range.
The optical sensor in the warhead of HJ-10 missile sends back the image of enemy tank back to its launch vehicle, where an operator guides the missile like a drone to hit the tank.
The launch system of the missile weighs 150 kg and is installed on an armored vehicle.
The missile is 185 cm long with a warhead of 43 kg. It is a powerful BVR weapon to hit enemy troops far away whether it has tanks or not.
China, in addition, is developing a warship version of HJ-10 so that its warship will be able to destroy an enemy tank on land 25 km away from it.
Portable Infrared-imaging-guided Antitank Missile HJ-12
As HJ-73 antitank missile is outdated due to exposure of the missile operator, China has developed its new third-generation portable antitank missile HJ-12 (Red Arrow-12).
It is a fire-and-forget missile with infrared imaging guidance, which makes it expensive.
Due to its soft launch system, it can be fired within buildings and bunkers and allows its operator time to hide after firing as the missile leaves its launcher at a slow speed to avoid generating too much smoke and flame and then gain speed with more smoke and flame to hit its target.
Though HJ-12 can pierce armor 1100 mm thick, but is designed to hit the top of its target, the vulnerable point of a tank. Therefore, it can destroy such advanced main battle tank as M1A2 and T90S though it is a light portable missile.
It can also be used to hit targets other than tanks and armored vehicles