Armor: May 13, 2000


China has released information regarding its Red Arrow 9 anti-tank missile. This is carried by the same 4x4 armored car that has carried the earlier Red Arrow 8 for several years. Red Arrow 9 is available in both laser-guided and millimeter wave radar-guided versions. The laser, in the 0.9um band, has a range of 5.5km. The vehicle weighs 13.75 tons combat loaded. The launcher has four missiles (two on either side of the electro-optical sighting systems); eight reload missiles are carried in the vehicle. The launcher can swivel 200 degrees to either side of the centerline and can elevate to +/- 10 degrees. The missile in its launch tube weighs 37kg. Range is from a minimum of 10m to a maximum of 5,000m. When engaging targets beyond 4km, the rate of fire is two missiles per minute. Each missile has four control fins that are (in an unusual feature) two-thirds the length of the missile body. There is a nose-mounted precursor charge to detonate any reactive armor, allowing the main charge to penetrate 320mm of rolled homogenous steel armor plate. Export customers are advised that the launcher can be fitted to a wide variety of armored vehicles, trucks, helicopters, and patrol boats.--Stephen V Cole


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