It looks like it might have top-attack capability. It's very javelin like.
Yeah, due to the uncooled seeker, I guess the HJ-12 will be not only cheaper, but also more rugged. I can believe the slightly inferior range compared to the Javelin comes from that.
On the other hand, I can believe that the HJ-12's excellent 1100mm RHA penetration also comes from that. A simplified seeker without the need for a coolant system frees up more space for a bigger warhead. The Javelin, on the other hand, is rated for 600mm RHA.
But not that it makes any difference when it would fly the top-attack profile anyway when employed against heavily armored modern western tanks, though...
Actually, you can't attack over 2,500m a lot of times with the Javelin (issues with the IIR device on the Block I CLU).
In theory, and in theory mind you, if the IIR seeker was expanded to cover the near IR bands, cooling might not be such an issue (but then you open up other cans of worms).
I think HJ-12 is deserving of an eastern arsenal post
Certainly, if this weapon is equipped in meaningful numbers by the PLA, this will be a very serious threat to US and US allied armour. I think HJ-12 would be the first potentially large scale, hard counter to US armour ever deployed by a US adversary (helicopter ATGMs don't really count, given they are dependent on air superiority, and non fire and forget+non top attack missiles I do not consider reliable counters to ATGMs).
No, I think the first and real hard counter against western modern armour are the CBU97 equivalent sensor fused weapons developed by the Russians and Chinese.
I'm unsure about the others, but the Chinese version could also be deployed using MLRS, meaning you do not need air superiority to employ it.
Infantry ATGMs are useful and have their place, but when faced with a large scale enemy tank offensive, a barrage of sensor fused weapons will decimate the attackers and stop the advance in its tracks far before they get within ATGM range of your infantry.
Going by the cost of javelin, I suspect HJ-12 will be relatively expensive compared to previous types of PLA ATGMs. But I also think it is likely HJ12 will be cheaper than foreign competitors.