|Place of origin||China|
|Used by||See Operators|
Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
|Designer||Research Institute 203|
|Manufacturer||NORINCO (Factory 282, Factory 5618)|
Khan Research Laboratories (Pakistan)
|Maximum speed||220 m/s|
|SACLOS wire guidance|
|Tripod, vehicle, aircraft|
The HJ-8 or Hongjian-8 and Baktar Shikan (Pakistani version) (Chinese: 红箭-8; pinyin: Hóng Jiàn-8; lit. 'Red Arrow-8') is a second generation tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided anti-tank missile system which was originally deployed by China's People's Liberation Army since the late 1980s.
In 1970, China's armored corps first proposed to develop a successor to HJ-73 and this was later approved, designated as the AFT-8 or HJ-8. The missile was jointly developed by Research Institute 203 and 282nd Factory, but the program was interrupted by political turmoil. The key designers were Wang Xingzhi (王兴治) and Zhao Jiazheng (赵家铮), who developed the missile. Development was not completed until the early 1980s, after the end of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. After receiving state certification, the missile entered mass-production in 1984. HJ-8 is an optically tracked, wire guided ATGM. A series of upgraded variants have been developed since.
HJ-8 and its variants are manufactured by NORINCO's Factory 282 (Jiangnan Machine Factory—江南机器厂), Factory 5618 (Hunan South China Photoelectricity Instrument Plant—湖南华南光电仪器厂) of China and Khan Research Laboratories of Pakistan.
The HJ-8 series can be considered the Chinese equivalent of the US BGM-71 TOW and Franco-German MILAN / Euromissile HOT anti-tank missiles. HJ-8 is a tube-launched, optically tracked and wire-guided missile system armed with a HEAT anti-tank warhead. The HJ-8 is a combination many experts believe of three Western antitank missile systems obtained from nations in the Middle East and Asia that were then examined and reverse engineered and modified: the tripod from the US BGM-71 TOW; the tracker-control unit from the French/German MILAN; and the missile from the UK Swingfire.
There are numerous improved models following the original HJ-8, designated HJ-8A to HJ-8H, each incorporating improved features over the previous model. HJ-8E entered service in mid-1990. The HJ-8E anti-tank missile weighs 24.5 kg, has a range of up to 4,000 m, and can also defeat explosive reactive armour (ERA). It can penetrate 800–1100 mm of RHA at 0° incidence / 180+ mm RHA at 68° incidence.
Designed to be both dependable and accurate, HJ-8 is now the standard anti-tank armament of the WZ-9, Mi-17, and Gazelle (replacing the original Euromissile HOT first carried) helicopter gunships of the PLA.
A launching platform that can be installed on armoured fighting vehicles has been developed by Norinco for use as an HJ-8 launching platform, the SW-1 one-man turret. The all-steel welded SW-1 turret weighs 1,750 kg and can be installed on various tracked or wheeled vehicles. The turret is stated to be immune to 0.50 caliber armour-piercing rounds at close range (100 meters) and protection is further increased when add-on armour is installed. The turret can traverse 360 degrees and be elevated -40 to +60 degrees. The fire-control system, based on that of HJ-8H, is internally mounted.
The primary armament of SW-1 includes four HJ-8H ATGM, with two mounted in the rear location on each side of the turret. The secondary armament comprises a 30 mm main gun and a coaxial 0.30 caliber machine gun. A variety of ammo can be used and the maximum rate of fire of the main gun is around 6 rounds per second, and automatic fire can be selected at various rates. The 30-mm gun is claimed to be effective against ground targets up to 4 km away and aerial targets at 2 km, while the HJ-8H missile is effective against ground targets at ranges of 4 km away, and against low and slow aerial targets at the same range. A follow-on model that is remotely operated weighing 1.4 ton has completed its development and entered Chinese service, designed by the same designer, Wu Lixin (吴立辛). Like its predecessor, this unmanned model was also first tested by using HJ-73C ATGM. The unmanned version carries 160 rounds of 30 mm ammunition.
The Baktar-Shikan variant from Pakistan were supplied to Bosnian government forces in the early 1990s. Used by the Bosnian Muslims forces against Serb tanks during the mid-1990s which helped the Muslim forces to destroy Serb tanks and helped in further combat
The Sri Lanka Army acquired HJ-8 from China, during the civil conflict against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They were mostly used to take out LTTE strucuture, including bunkers.
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