Images have emerged on Chinese online forums showing what could be a submarine-launched variant of the YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile.
The low-resolution images show a missile displayed on presentation slides believed to have been used for a university lecture given by former Rear Admiral Zhao Dengping, who is a deputy minister with the People’s Liberation Army’s General Armaments Department. The slides are entitled 'YJ-18 subsonic/supersonic anti-ship guided missile'.
One image shows an underwater launch capsule, painted in a trials colour scheme, which looks similar to that used by the Russian Kalibr/Club family of missiles. The other image appears to show the missile, most likely still within the capsule, being launched from below the water surface in what was presumably a test flight. No further details were provided about the images or the weapon system.
On 21 and 22 August collections of presentation slides appeared on multiple Chinese military-issue websites apparently from a Northwestern Polytechnical University lecture given by Zhao. However, the slides featuring images of the presumed submarine-launched variant of the YJ-18 anti-ship missile (ASM) were revealed only on 24 September.
While the date of Zhao’s lecture or his actual remarks were not revealed, his many presentation slides mentioned known People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) programmes such as the Type 055 destroyer (DDG), a landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship, the Type 056 corvette, and the YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile.
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