Chinese YJ-12B Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Spotted In Algeria

In July of 2018, the government of Algeria purchased at least two batteries (about 8 Transporter Erector Launchers) of CM-302 anti-ship cruise missiles. The CM-302 is the export variant for the Chinese YJ-12B system. Algeria is seeking to place these systems on its northern coast in order to achieve access area denial in the Mediterranean.

It appears that these systems have finally been handed over to the Algerians after Twitter users snapped the above pic outside of Algiers. In the 2018 purchase, Algeria also acquired 24 Pterosaur II drones from China. The total amount of the order exceeds 120 million U.S. dollars, which is equivalent to about 5 million U.S. dollars each. Delivery of drones will begin at the end of this year, and all deliveries will be completed in 2022.

The CM-302 missile is likely 23 ft long and 2.0 ft in diameter, with an estimated weight of 4,400–5,500 lbs. It is stated to have a range of 150 nm, a 550 lb warhead, guided by BeiDou which can be updated by data-link with an active radar seeker for terminal homing to achieve a 90% probability of hitting its target while traveling at a mid-course speed of Mach 1.5-2 and accelerating to Mach 3 or higher during the terminal flight phase. The Chinese market it as the “world’s finest anti-ship missile”.

After the fall of the Libyan government to rebel forces, aided by air strikes from more than 110 British and American Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, Algeria began a defense spending spree which quickly vaulted them into being Africa’s number one defense spender. The focus on long-range UCAVs, anti-ship ballistic missiles, and ballistic missile defense, shows the government’s fears of being displaced in another coalition air and sea strike.

Graphic showing expenditures by African nations, with Algeria taking top spot in 2020.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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