The PLA Navy has released what is apparently the very first video footage of the hypersonic missile launch from the Chinese warship, a Type 055 cruiser.
Naval analyst H.I. Sutton has identified the missile within the video as a YJ-21 hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missile, a relative of the CM-401. The Type 055 has 112 VLS cells, suggesting it could carry a considerable hypersonic toolbox in a high-end fight.
The last generation CM-401 is a short-range missile with a maneuverable reentry automobile, and possesses been observed in public before, starting with an look at the Zhuhai Airshow in 2018. At the time, maker CASIC proposed that the weapons system could be mounted on a ship such as the ARRANGE’s Type 055 cruiser – the vessel class observed in the newly-released photos.
The missile has a selection of at the least 180 miles employing a “skip-glide” trip course. Which means it goes nearly straight up within the initial period of trip, then skips from the atmosphere several times on re-entry, converting its downward energy into horizontal travel. This creates an irregular flight path and gives the reentry vehicle a way to change course whilst in motion, rendering it harder to intercept.
On terminal approach, the CM-401 arrives on target at speeds of up to Mach 6. Like other hypersonic munitions, speed makes it exceptionally difficult to intercept, plus the U.S. Navy is difficult at the job on counter-hypersonic systems to cut back its vulnerability.
The U.S. will not now have a missile equal to the CM-401. The Navy is using the U.S. Army on a joint hypersonic-missile system, Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS), that will be launched from land, ship-based and submarine platforms. In the meantime, the service comes with a range advantage for ship-launched tools: the Tomahawk Block Va and Vb cruise missiles can reach out to a lot more than 1,000 nm, though they are subsonic and are better to beat.