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China's Norinco announces first export of HJ-12E ATGW system

The China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) announced on 25 March that it has completed deliveries of its Red Arrow 12E (‘Hongjian-12E’, or HJ-12E) man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system to a foreign customer.

The company said via its WeChat account that the move marked the first export of its third-generation ATGW but did not provide any details about the contract value, the identity of the customer, or the number of systems exported.

The HJ-12E is the export variant of the HJ-12, which is presumed to be in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Ground Force.

Norinco announced on 23 March that it has completed deliveries of its HJ-12E man-portable ATGW system to a foreign customer.

A full-scale mock-up of the system was first shown at the 2014 Airshow China, with a company spokesperson telling Jane’s at the time that the HJ-12, which weighs up to 22 kg and uses a 1.25 m-long launch tube, is the first man-portable ATGW system to be fully developed in China.

The spokesperson claimed that it is also the first Chinese ATGW system to feature a fire-and-forget capability, enabling operators to withdraw swiftly after a missile launch and improve their survivability. The system also has a soft-launch capability that allows for the missile to be launched within confined spaces such as within a building or a bunker.

According to Jane's Land Warfare Platforms: Firepower, Survivability & Mobility the HJ-12 has similar capabilities to the widely deployed and combat-proven US Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin man-portable ATGW system.

The missile of the HJ-12 system has a diameter of 140 mm and is fitted with a tandem, high-explosive, anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to be able to penetrate up to 1,100 mm of rolled homogenous armour (RHA) protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).

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