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Image shows PLANAF JH-7A armed with upgraded YJ-83K ASM

An image has emerged on Chinese online forums showing a People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) JH-7A fighter-bomber armed with a new variant of the YJ-83K anti-ship missile.

The image, which was published on 13 October, shows the aircraft carrying a new YJ-83K-series missile, although the designation of the new variant was not disclosed.

So far, only two missiles from this series were known to be in service: the YJ-83K, which has a stated range of 180 km, and the YJ-83KH, which has a stated maximum range of 230 km.

The new ASM variant reportedly features an integrated active radar/passive imaging infrared dual-mode seeker.

A ship-launched version of this missile variant – known by the export name CM-802B – is known to be deployed with some PLA Navy vessels. However, the recently published image marks the first time that an air-launched version of the missile has been spotted.

No information was provided about when or where the image was taken.

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