A video posted by China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) recently showed J-11BS fighter jets armed with a new type of missile, expected to be armed on J-16D jets in the future.
The mystery missile could be an advanced anti-radiation missile such as the U.S.-made AGM-88G; or, a long-range air-to-air missile capable of bringing down targets high-value targets like early warning aircraft and aerial tankers from afar, wrote Weihutang, a military program affiliated with China Central Television. The report was reposted by the PLA Eastern Theater Command on Sina Weibo on Tuesday.
Ordnance Industry Science Technology predicted that it could be an improved version of the CM-102, a Chinese made-for-export anti-radiation missile. It may use the double-pulse solid rocket motor technology used on the PL-15 that may give it a much longer range. So a warplane equipped with the new weapon will be able to destroy hostile advanced air defense missiles including SM-6s and S-400s, deployed far away. If it is indeed an anti-radiation missile, it would be a perfect match for China's new electronic warfare fighter jet, rumored to be called the J-16D and derived from the J-16 fighter jet. This jet’s capabilities including air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, a range of electronic warfare pods, and large payload capacity being it on par with the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G.
Wang Ya'nan, a military aviation expert and chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Wednesday: “Anti-radiation missiles could play a significant role in destroying an enemy's valuable early warning aircraft, which emit heavy radiation. Since early warning aircraft usually operate far from combat hot zones, possibly 300km away, a new anti-radiation missile would need to have a very long range.”