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Weapons

China’s Hongda details HD-1 supersonic cruise missile family

15 November 2018
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A full-scale model of the HD-1 supersonic cruise missile shown to the public for the first time at Airshow China 2018, a month after its developer claimed to have conducted a successful launch of the missile. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

China’s Guangdong Hongda Blasting Company (Hongda), a Guangzhou-based company specialising in mining and industrial explosives, has showcased its new indigenously developed and export-oriented HD-1 supersonic cruise missile designed for precision land attack and anti-ship missions.

The ground-based HD-1 is a solid-propellant, ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile that employs a tandem single-stage solid-propellant rocket booster – as opposed to wraparound boosters to reduce drag – for missile launch and acceleration to a forward velocity suitable for efficient operation of the ramjet’s intake system, which comprises four air intakes arranged in an ‘X’ configuration around the missile body. Tapered control surfaces are mounted on the intake housings near the nozzles.

According to company specifications, the HD-1 has a 2,200 kg launch weight and measures 8.3 m with a missile body and booster diameter of 375 mm and 650 mm respectively. Speed is quoted as 2,716–4,321 km/h depending on the programmed flight profile, with the missile cruising at altitudes of up to 15,000 m (49,212 ft) and performing sea-skimming manoeuvres at altitudes between 16 and 32 ft.

The missile’s maximum range is stated as 290 km, although Jane’s believes this could be higher given the propensity of Chinese missile developers to provide conservative figures to satisfy international Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) export controls and widen their potential customer base.

“The [HD-1] has a high-low trajectory combined with a supersonic manoeuvring penetration capability and it can achieve vertical top attack, sea-skimming horizontal attack, or pop-up attack within a short range of targets,” the company stated.

The missile can be armed with a range of destructive payloads, including unitary 400 kg high-explosive armour-piercing as well as 240 kg blast-fragmentation, blast, and cluster warheads.

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