China has developed a hybrid missile-torpedo (ASW missile Yu-8) that literally joins the two capabilities into a single weapon. The chief advantage of this arrangement, of course, is to vastly expand the range and speed of the torpedo system. Yet another advantage is that the attacking torpedo system would not likely be detected by a submerged submarine until it had plunged into the water relatively close to the intended victim, limiting the reaction time of the submarine’s crew for taking evasive action and deploying countermeasures.
China’s ASW torpedo development has, for the most part, “European origins” and the U.S. Mark 46 lightweight ASW torpedo. The US exported the Mark 46 to China in the 1980s.
The Yu- missile is expected to be about five meters in length, and to weigh less than 700 kilograms. The range is said to be approximately thirty kilometers at a speed of Mach .9 to .95. The torpedo part of the weapon is estimated to be 324 millimeters in width and capable of detection (both passive and active) over 1.1 to 2.5 kilometers.
China plans to increase the missile’s overall flight range to fifty-five to seventy kilometers.
The system may be an attempt to remedy a long-time weakness in China’s ASW system: the inability of its ASW helicopters to heft multiple torpedoes. Helicopters transmit targeting information to the ship launched Yu-8 ASW missile.
SOURCES- National Interest, Popular Science
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