The CM-400AKG stand-off weapon, with ranges of 350-400 kilometers at Mach 3.2-4 in flight and approaching hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 at terminal phase, can be classified as a ‘carrier killer’. The missile can not only approach and reach hypersonic speeds, but also perform evasive maneuvers in the last seconds of flight to evade anti-missile threats. It’s not exactly a cruise missile but not a ballistic missile either. The missile follows a high, quasi-ballistic trajectory with a high-power drive at terminal phase. Launch is done at high altitudes (increasing the strike aircraft’s survivability) via a solid rocket motor so basically, it’s a guided, long range quasi-ballistic rocket. The missile boasts an internal navigation system that guides it near its target, at which point a combination infrared- and radar-seeker takes over. Sources claim the weapon’s circular-error probability is as small as 15 feet. The CM-400AKG climbs to a very high altitude and executes long range flight at supersonic velocities and terminates with an extremely high-speed drive on the target, making it a valuable maritime anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) weapon. The CM-400AKG adds to the PAC JF-17’s already impressive long-range and maritime strike options, particularly with respect to the eroding the efficacy of an enemy air defense system. For Pakistan’s maritime A2/AD strategy, the inclusion of the CM-400AKG can enable Pakistan to combine a steep-angle, hypersonic object (CM-400AKG) with sea-skimming subsonic solutions (e.g., Harba, C-802, Harpoon and Exocet), collectively stressing the adversary’s air defense system and increasing the chances of successful impacts against intruding surface combatants. In testing the Harba LACM/ASCM at the start of 2018 from an Azmat-Class FAC(M), the Pakistan Navy also demonstrated its capacity for distributed lethality where it can leverage a network-enabled warfare environment of multiple sensors to guide weapons deployed from off-board platforms and with the Naval Information Exchange System (NIXS), the Pakistan Navy is able to have its connected asset’s view sensor-feeds of other assets in real-time. The Pakistan Navy will deploy the YJ-12/CM-400AKG’s ship launched version as well: the CM-302 on Type 054P FFGs and is also indigenously developing a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile as well as a hypersonic weapon deployed from a ship launched ballistic missile, titled Project P-282.
Author: Muhammad Arslan