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.