TypeAnti-ship cruise missile
Place of originPeople's Republic of China
Service history
In service~2015-present
Used byPeople's Liberation Army Navy
Length6.3 m (21 ft)[1]
Diameter0.756 m (2.48 ft)[1]
Warhead205–500 kg (452–1,102 lb)[2][3]

Engineintegrated ramjet/booster propulsion system[4]
250–400 km (160–250 mi; 130–220 nmi)[4][2] (depending on altitude), 300 km at Mach 3, 400km at Mach 4[5]
Maximum speed Mach 2-4[1][2] (depending on altitude)
Terminal guidance

The YJ-12 (Chinese: 鹰击-12; pinyin: yīngjī-12; lit. 'Eagle Strike 12') is a Chinese supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.


The YJ-12 is an air-launched missile[8] that resembles a lengthened Kh-31[4] and is close in shape to the GQM-163 Coyote aerial target.[1]

A 2011 article in the United States Naval War College Review credited the "YJ-91/YJ-12" with a range of 400 km and a 205 kg high explosive warhead, compared to the 130 km (81 mi; 70 nmi) range of a Harpoon anti-ship missile. Furthermore, an aircraft could launch the "YJ-91/YJ-12" while still 230 km beyond the range of SM-2 and Sparrow anti-air missiles, which have ranges of less than 170 km.[3][9] According to Chinese sources, the YJ-12 has a speed of around Mach 2 if launched from low altitude and up to Mach 3.2 if launched from high altitude, with a maximum range of around 380 km (240 mi; 210 nmi) depending on launch altitude; terminal attack altitude is 15 meters.[1] In a September 2014 article published in Joint Forces Quarterly, the missile was credited with a range of up to 250 km and a speed of Mach 2.5.[4] In February 2015, military expert Li Li claimed the YJ-12 has a 400–500 kg (880–1,100 lb) warhead and a range of 300 km (190 mi; 160 nmi) when traveling at Mach 3, or 400 km at a speed of Mach 4.[2] The YJ-12 can also do evasive maneuvers to avoid anti-missile threats.[10]

A saturation attack by YJ-12's fired at long range would pose a grave threat to American carrier strike groups; once the wave of sea-skimming missiles appeared over the horizon and was detected by ships' own sensors, they would only have some 45 seconds to engage before impact and if there were enough, short range defenses would be overwhelmed. Given that fighters such as the Su-30MKK and J-11B have a combat radius of about 1,500 km, equipping them with the YJ-12 gives them a potential strike range out to 1,900 km (1,200 mi; 1,000 nmi). The U.S. Navy's counter is to use the Cooperative Engagement Capability to detect and destroy the YJ-12's launch aircraft with SM-6 missiles and fighters at long range before they can be fired.[11]

It has been test-launched from Xian H-6 bombers[12] and will be fitted on the JH-7B.[1] Reportedly, they may also be launched from the J-10, Su-30MKK, the J-11 and J-16,[13] For warships, it equips the Type 051B destroyer[6] and PLAN overhauled Sovremenny-class destroyer.[7]


In August 2000, the Chinese unveiled a model of an air-launched missile labelled as the YJ-91, resembling the French Air-Sol Moyenne Portée. Later, a similar looking missile was seen that may have been designated as the YJ-12. Jane's reported that a YJ-12A was supposedly in development in 2004. The YJ-91 designation ultimately went to the Chinese development of the Russian Kh-31.[14] The YJ-12 ultimately resembled a lengthened Kh-31.[4]

The YJ-12 appeared at the 2015 China Victory Day Parade,[15] indicating that the missile had entered active service since all weapons showcased during the parade are actively inducted prior to the parade.[16]

The YJ-12B was reportedly deployed to the Spratly Islands around March 2018.[17]


Air-launched variant
Naval surface-based variant, launched by rocket booster.[18]
Land-based variant with 295 nmi (339 mi; 546 km) range.[19]
In November 2016, CASIC unveiled the CM-302 as the export version of the YJ-12. It is marketed as "the world's best anti-ship missile" that it is supersonic throughout its flight, can be launched from air, land, and naval platforms, can disable a 5,000-tonne warship, and be used in a land attack role. Assuming physical characteristics similar to the YJ-12, the missile is likely 7 m (23 ft) long and 0.6 m (2.0 ft) diameter, with an estimated weight of 2,000–2,500 kg (4,400–5,500 lb). It is stated to have a range of 280 km (170 mi; 150 nmi), a 250 kg (550 lb) warhead, guided by BeiDou which can be updated by data-link with an active radar seeker for terminal homing to achieve a 90% probability of hitting its target, while traveling at a mid-course speed of Mach 1.5-2 and accelerating to Mach 3 or higher during the terminal flight phase.[20]


Current operators

 People's Republic of China

Future operators


See also

Related development

Comparable missiles


  1. ^ a b c d e f New Chinese supersonic anti-ship missile "YJ-12" fitted on PLAN's H-6G bomber - Navyrecognition.com, 20 January 2014
  2. ^ a b c d Renjie, Guo, ed. (4 February 2015). "China's anti-ship missiles YJ-12 and YJ-100 revealed". China Military Online. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.14".
  4. ^ a b c d e Gormley, Dennis M.; Erickson, Andrew S.; Yuan, Jingdong (30 September 2014). "A Potent Vector: Assessing Chinese Cruise Missile Developments". Joint Forces Quarterly. National Defense University (75): 102. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Chinese Missiles".
  6. ^ a b Chinese Navy Type 051B destroyer upgraded with 16 container launchers for YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile. Navy Recognition. 4 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b Pasandideh, Shahryar (21 September 2018). "Less Visible Aspects of Chinese Military Modernization". The Diplomat. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  8. ^ Dutton, Peter; Erickson, Andrew S.; Martinson, Ryan, eds. (February 2014). China's Near Seas Combat Capabilities (Report). China Maritime Studies. Vol. 11. United States Naval War College. p. 20. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Pradun: From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts, p.25".
  10. ^ Minnick, Wendell (August 8, 2017). "China Puts Guam Within Missile Range". Defense News.
  11. ^ Haddick, Robert (2 July 2014). "China's Most Dangerous Missile (So Far)". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  12. ^ United States Office of the Secretary of Defense (8 May 2015). Annual Report To Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015 (PDF) (Report). p. 46. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  13. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (12 January 2015). "Images suggest J-10Bs close to entering Chinese service". janes.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  14. ^ "YJ-91/YJ-12 (China), Offensive weapons". janes.com. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  15. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (4 September 2015). "China showcases new weapon systems at 3 September parade". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  16. ^ "陈士强:抗战胜利70周年纪念活动充分展示我军战斗力--军事--人民网". military.people.com.cn. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  17. ^ Macias, Amanda (May 2, 2018). "China quietly installed defensive missile systems on strategic Spratly Islands in hotly contested South China Sea". CNBC.
  18. ^ First Picture of China's New YJ-12A Anti-Ship Missile During Launch Revealed - Navyrecognition.com, 31 October 2016
  19. ^ China Deploys YJ-12B and HQ-9B Missiles on South China Sea Islands. Navy Recognition. 4 May 2018.
  20. ^ Tate, Andrew; Gibson, Neil (9 November 2016). "China offers export version of YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  21. ^ Ansari, Usman (8 January 2020). "Pakistan and China launch joint naval drills. Should India be concerned?". defensenews.com. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  • Pradun, Vitaliy O. (Spring 2011). "From Bottle Rockets to Lightning Bolts: China's Missile Revolution and PLA Strategy against U.S. Military Intervention". Naval War College Review. United States Naval War College. 64 (2). Retrieved 19 May 2015.