The Algerian military is putting in measures to protect the Mediterranean Sea area as well as the Strait of Gibraltar by deploying newly acquired Chinese-made YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles.
The YJ-12 is a recent addition to Algeria’s portfolio of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), and was acquired to replace the aging Soviet-built SSC-3 Styx P-15 anti-ship missile.
The YJ-12B ASCM will complement another deadly Chinese-made cruise missile in Algerian service, the mach 3 capable CX-1 ASCM acquired in 2018 after more than a decade of negotiations.
Algeria had intended to procure the Russian Bastion missile system which is based on the Yakhont missile, however, due to the high cost of the Bastion system, the service may have instead opted for the cheaper Chinese products.
The YJ-12 is considered the “most lethal anti-ship missile China has manufactured thus far,” according to a 2014 Pentagon report, with a range of 400 kilometers, mach 3 speeds, and can undertake evasive maneuvers before striking its target.
The report notes that, “The new missile provides an increased threat to naval assets, due to its long range and supersonic speeds.” True, but in an understated way. In fact, the YJ-12 is the most dangerous anti-ship missile China has produced thus far…”
The YJ-12’s effectiveness stems from its 400-kilometer range, giving it the world’s longest-ranged ASCM (and much longer than the 124 kilometer limit of the U.S. Navy Harpoon). With its ability to travel at high speeds makes protecting ships in it’s vicinity very challenging.
The YJ-12B was first publicly revealed in 2019. It is in service with the China’s military.
The YJ-12B is a ground-launched version of the naval YJ-12 anti-ship missile, that is carried by warships. The YJ-12 is a ramjet-powered supersonic missile with radar guidance. It has an estimated range of 400-500 km and carries a 200 kg warhead. Most likely that this missile has a conventional High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead.
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