Chinese cruise missile inventory

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by Totoro, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Totoro
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    Totoro Captain
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    Without any actual data coming out officially, it's hard to estimate it. One could say it's anywhere between 0 and 5000 missiles and one would likely be correct. But that doesn't mean we can't try to narrow it down at least a little bit.

    For the purposes of this thread, I suggest we stick to defining a cruise missile as a missile capable of reaching (almost) 300 km with almost pinpoint accuracy, meaning it should have at least satellite navigation guidance and it doesn't need any sort of outside navigation aids.

    Due to that, I shall exclude the KD-88 and KD-63 family, as it, to my knowledge, lacks range. Any sort of dedicated anti-ship variant of larger missiles will also be excluded.
    I shall, however, include land attack Klub missile, with its alleged 290 km range.
    Of course, the likes of YJ-18 in possible cruise missile variant, as well as CJ/DF-10 and KD-20 missiles are in.

    So, what do we know? We know that 8 of 12 Kilo submarines can operate Klub missiles. Sometimes one can hear 100-200 missiles were ordered but there's little way of verifying that.

    We know that YJ-18 can be fired from the ships. So far it's unlikely many are planned to be used from 052D, the only kind that could possibly use it today, as its AAW main role means at least 48 and probably more cells are going to be used for other needs. I would thus rate YJ18 land attack usage on 052D as a marginal role, performed occasionally by select few 052D, protected by other ships. Perhaps dozens of missile available for such missions/platforms?

    YJ-18 for submarines. A big uknown to me. Since Klub is used from SSKs, it's quite plausible YJ18 could be used from the likes of 093s or Yuans or even Songs. But in what numbers? Very hard to tell. I don't see it as a standard weapon. Again, like with 052D, it may be a a special weapon, to be loaded up and used only for specific missions. Still, with more platforms available, there may be more missiles available. Possibly more than dozens, possibly going over 100?

    With DF-10 it's a bit easier. We have some evidence of actual brigades being fielded. Issue being we don't know how many are there. Or how many launchers they have per brigade. While far from a trustworthy source, I am forced to use the US DoD report on Chinese military here. They suggest 40-50 launchers and 200-300 missiles between them. Hey, it's as good of a guess as any. It might suggest 2-4 brigades worth, depending on size of the brigades.

    Then there's the air launched KD-20. No way to know the inventory but we do know some 80 or something H-6K are operational. Again, no way of knowing how many missiles would be carried ON AVERAGE, how many reloads would there be or even how important is cruise missile carrier role to H-6K. Is it literally 90% of its missions, suggesting a lot of reloads, or is it a marginal mission, suggesting that there's possibly not many more missiles than there are planes. Seems plausible the former would be closer to truth. Anyway, anything from 200-1000 missiles is possible here...

    Overall, one might guesstimate the current day inventory to be anywhere between 600 and 1800. With majority of them being ground launched and air launched long range models.
     
    #1 Totoro, Oct 1, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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