October 10, 2007:
China has a new, Scud type, ballistic missile, but appears to be offering it only to the export market, and not the Chinese armed forces. The P12 has a range of 150 kilometers, and a half ton warhead. Using GPS guidance, the solid fuel missile will hit within 50 meters of the aim point. Using inertial guidance, it will be within 120 meters. China is offering conventional warheads, using submunitions. The P12 is very similar to the U.S. Sergeant missile, which was deployed for about a decade, beginning in 1963. Sergeant used a nuclear warhead, and with inertial guidance, was able to put the warhead to within 100 meters of the aim point. The Sergeant launcher was hauled around by a tractor, with the missile carried in a separate truck. The P12, like Sergeants 1970s successor, was carried, and launched, from the same vehicle. In the case of the P12, it's a large truck. One reason for not buying the P12 for the Chinese army is the range. China is concentrating on buying missiles with a range to get across the 180 kilometers wide Taiwan Straits.