PLA's latest torpedo and Hongqi-16 missile pass trial launches
The PLA Army's latest torpedo and the Hongqi-16 air missile, reportedly capable of destroying aircraft carriers and tracking multiple targets, respectively, have both passed trial launches, reports the Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News.
The new torpedoes and the nuclear-powered submarine carrying them are considered the most shrouded and highly classified weaponry of the PLA, according to the army's official PLA Daily.
During the trial, the torpedo was launched from a submarine, bypassed the bait released to deter it and destroyed its target — a 1,000-tonne ship — to complete the test. It is high probable that it will make an appearance in the PLA Navy's next exercise.
Compared to other subsonic anti-ship missiles and 53.5cm-caliber torpedoes, the PLA's torpedo deploys new technology that can gather and direct explosions, posing a significant threats to large ships such as aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. Its tracking technology can also allow it to repeatedly pick up the track on a lost target until it is destroyed.
The Hongqi-16 missile is China's third-generation medium-range surface-to-air system. It uses a vertical launching system like the US MK-41 and can attack aircraft and helicopters and can intercept anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles, tactical air-launched missile systems and guided missiles.
Foreign media have estimated that the system has a range of 1.5-40km and a missile cruising height up to 10 meters. It could form a comprehensive regional air defense system along with the Hongqi-9 missile, which won a place in Turkey's air defense system program recently.
The missile's vertical launching system allows it to be more flexible than missiles launched by catapult launchers. It can track eight targets during a single launch and intelligently assault up to four immediate threats. It can also resist anti-radiation missiles that enemies launch to attack radar systems.
Video clips on national broadcaster CCTV showed the missile being launched from a Zhoushan war ship of the PLA's Donghai (East) Fleet and hitting a targets around 10 to 20 meters above ground.
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