PLAAF Munitions II


siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Here's the video


But does anyone know this missile?

View attachment 62562

Looks like an older one, more like the original YJ-6, which was the pre-predecessor to what later became the KD-63
This is a target type munition used to test PLAN missiles. The interesting thing about this missile is that it deploys both active and passive interference measures, which I assume are EW interference and flares/chaff and is very difficult to shoot down. New missiles currently employed by PLAN have all been tested against this missile.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
So, several claims in that article:

guided glider dispenser bomb
highly accurate
modular, can carry up to 6 different munition types
can carry up to 240 submunitions (of unspecified type)
weighs 500 kg
range over 60 km
when dispersed, submunitions can cover over 6000 m2.

If taken at face value:
that's roughly 100 by 60 meters covered. Which actually isn't a lot. To blockade a single, average length 2.5 km long runway, some 3 of these weapons would need to achieve hits. Less if there is not a parallel taxiway with exits to the runway, but usually there always is.

range over 60 km could either mean "the range is classified and 60 km is a random figure. While in actuality it may be over 100 km"
Or it could mean "range is 60-ish km, but less than 70 km as otherwise we'd use the 70 km figure"

Now, 60 km is not that much in today's world. Gliders, to work properly, need to be launched from high altitudes. Today's SAM systems will not have much trouble tracking and engaging planes at 60 or 70 km away. Especially ones carrying various bombs. Patriot PAC-2 can easily deal with such targets. Taiwanese Sky Bow sams as well. Patriot PAC-3 may have more issues, depending on its variant. MSE should have little trouble reaching that, but basic PAC-3 might very well struggle. Of course, all that depends where the target is, where the SAM is and where the launch point is. There may be situations where SAM will be in front of the target, so distance from SAM to plane will be even less. Or there will be situations where SAM is quite a bit to the side off a target, so distance is bigger.

If the range is 100+ km... well, there's JSOW to compare it to. For example, glider JSOW reaches 130 km, is just under 500 kg in weight and contains 150 to 200 bomblets (when used against soft targets) I would imagine the 240 bomblet figure for the chinese weapon to be against soft targets as well, and not against runways, as those warheads are usually bigger and heavier. The JSOW warhead is roughly half the total weight of the bomb.

Another piece of comparison is US CBU87 950 kg cluster bomb which contains 202 bomblets and covers an area of up to 120 by 240 meters. 28 800 m2.

Now... what guidance does the weapon have? At 60 km away, already satnav is likely needed. US has the inertial guidance CBU 103 which can be released some 20-ish km away from the plane. But for 60 km distances, a wing kit range extension variant was tested, and that had to use GPS as well. The guided and highly accurate claim by the article, coupled with the 60 km range claim does very much suggest it would have to be a satnav guided weapon. Definitely satnav if one believes actual range is 100 km or so.

So... IF indeed this weapon is in use, and if all stated is true, it'd mean this is one of the first bombs used by PLAAF that has some rather credible circumstantial evidence pointing to the use of satellite guidance. (various satnav bombs we saw on zhuhai over the years were never actually seen on PLAAF planes)
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
That is well within range of enemy SAMs. It is not even standoff range.
What is stand off range though? It seems to be some sort of equivalent to the Kh-59MK2 and AGM-154 at least in overall shape and being unpropelled with range extended using wings. Wiki says AGM-154's range is 22km to 130km depending on speed and altitude of release. This 60km figure given here may be some sort of average suggesting the range profiles may be very similar to something like the AGM-154. This particular one seems to be shown as some dedicated anti-airfield weapon with perhaps a heavier payload of submunitions? Anyway it's given range is fairly conservative and lacks details. The Kh-59MK2 is rocket powered to achieve a range over 200km. It probably carries much less destructive force.

A stealthy, powered SOW like Storm Shadow/SCALP is definitely missing in PLAAF's inventory but who knows, they may have at least one and choose not to show it. This particular piece of ordinance just doesn't seem to fit in as much with the PLAAF perhaps. It's not hard to develop at all considering China has dozens of cruise missiles with nearly 4 decades of experience designing and building cruise missiles and guidance. It's also got stealth technology, enough rocket know how, ramjets and scramjets know how that if not suitable at least is not out of reach. I think the combined attack doctrines employed by PLA, PLARF, and PLAAF mean an expensive, heavy, bulbous, and relatively small warhead SCALP equivalent isn't as effective as what is available now in terms of air to ground. Even ground to ground fills in a lot here. GJ-11 stealth drone and numerous inexpensive attack drones can deliver stealthy and extended range direct attack munitions well enough.
 
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banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
Yes, I imagine it's better to deploy some of these munitions using drones. A future strike package might entail a J-20/35 controlling a swarm of LO HALE drones with each one carrying several anti runway dispensers.
 

Josh Luo

Senior Member
Registered Member
but who knows, they may have at least one and choose not to show it.
They do have a SOW called the GB-6A, but little is know about it. We have never seen PLAAF units training with it. The last (and only) time GB-6A appeared was during the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show (I was there, too). We don't even know if this thing has been deployed to frontline units. I took this image, and the flying box looking thing right under the aircraft's nose is the GB-6A. Little has been known about it since then. It could potentially be a Chinese JASSM or SCALP.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3763.jpg
 
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Josh Luo

Senior Member
Registered Member
They do have a SOW called the GB-6A, but little is know about it. We have never seen PLAAF units training with it. The last (and only) time GB-6A appeared was during the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show (I was there, too). We don't even know if this thing has been deployed to frontline units. I took this image, and the flying box looking thing right under the aircraft's nose is the GB-6A. Little has been known about it since then. It could potentially be a Chinese JASSM or SCALP.
View attachment 62594
Better image.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3767.jpg
 

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