China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command deployed the indigenously developed HJ-12 man-portable anti-tank missile that is similar in capabilities to the U.S.-made Javelin in a recent military exercise in the deep plateau region.
In an official release dated July 22, the military announced it conducted a series of exercises and attached a photograph showing a soldier carrying a portable anti-tank missile that can be carried by a single person. Shanghai-based news website eastday.com identified it as the HJ-12, making it the weapon’s first public appearance in PLA service.
Developed by the state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the HJ-12, or the Red Arrow 12, was put on exhibit for the first time at Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province.
The HJ-12 is a top-attack, fire-and forget missile that China claims, can destroy any main battle tank in the world. The missile can penetrate homogeneous steel armor as thick as 1,100mm protected by explosive reaction armor. The missile is equipped with advanced focal plane array infrared guidance system with lock-on before launch and fire-and-forget systems.
The HJ-12 also offers strong anti-jamming capabilities with more types of guidance systems, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times adding that the HJ-12 can launch precision strikes on hostile bunkers, fortifications and buildings.
The export version of the HJ-12, the HJ-12E, saw its first delivery to an undisclosed foreign buyer in early 2020, NORINCO revealed in March that year. It was the first time a third-generation anti-tank weapon system developed by the Chinese company has been exported.