China To Arm Pakistan Navy’s Z-9 Helicopters With Deadly Anti-Ship Missiles To ‘Target Indian Naval Warships’?

China is reportedly selling its anti-ship missiles CM-501GA to Pakistan. The Z-9 helicopter used by the Pakistan Navy will carry these missiles and will be deployed on the 054 A/P frigates. 

The Pakistan Navy’s 054 A/P frigates are being manufactured by China. The PNS Tughril, for example, was delivered last year. Three more are on the way. According to reports, the target of these missiles is apparently Indian warships like the Kolkata and Vizag class destroyers and the stealth frigates.  

Pakistan is also in talks with China about purchasing the LY-70 air-defense missile system for its warships. It has already requested a technical and budget proposal from ALIT, the manufacturer. The Pakistan Navy bought the previous variant, the LY-60N, for its Tariq-class frigates two decades ago. 

CM-501G – Via Twitter

Harbin Aircraft Industry Group manufactures the Harbin Z-9 attack helicopter. The Z-9EC is an anti-submarine warfare variant developed for the Pakistan Naval Air Arm. To identify, track, and eliminate enemy submarines, the helicopter is armed with ASW torpedoes and a combination of sensors and radars.

The Pakistan Navy has placed an order for four Type 054A/P frigates to be delivered by China. The service commissioned the first Chinese-built Type 054A/P Guided Missile Frigate PNS Tughril in November 2021, The EuraAsian Times reported. 

The new Tughril is equipped with electronic warfare systems, the latest surface, subsurface, and anti-air weapons, as well as combat management systems, and is seen as a Chinese-supplied successor to the F-22P frigate. The battleship is primarily built for anti-air warfare, although it can also execute anti-surface and anti-submarine tasks.

File Image: Harbin Z-9 – Wikipedia

The CM-501GA Missile

The CM-501GA is a lighter variant of the CM-501G land-attack missile. The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation manufactures these missiles, which have a range of around 40 kilometers. The lighter variant can be launched from the Chinese-made Harbin Z-9 helicopter, which is also used by Pakistan’s navy.  

The missile’s design is based on the CM-501G, a ground attack missile that was initially displayed in November 2012 at the 9th Zhuhai Airshow. The CM501G missile has a range of 70 kilometers. The missile is thought to be the Chinese equivalent of the American NLOS-LS Netfires missile or the Israeli JUMPER missile. 

CM-501G – Via Twitter

The CM-501G system comprises two vehicles, both of which are based on the Shaanxi Automobile Group SX2190 6 x 6 cross-country heavy-duty truck. Two launchers/containers, each with nine missiles in a three-by-three layout, are installed in the back of the launching vehicle, totaling 18. This is higher than Netfires’ 15 but lower than JUMPER’s 24.

The open architecture and modular design concept, according to the developer, made the CM-501G system versatile enough to meet different demands of the users by choosing different guidance systems: when funding is limited, the two-way data link and Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) can be supplanted with a cheaper Semi-Active Laser (SAL), and satellite guidance can be any of GPS, GLONASS, or BeiDou.

The fire control module, ammunition adapter, and independent power cables make up the fire control system. Operators can exercise remote control once the network is integrated into a battle network. Since it can process data from the ammo adapter and position a target, the firing system may work autonomously.

A compact C41SR system that can be linked to a combat network serves as the command system. It is capable of guiding the firing system, processing and storing data, relaying instructions, assessing damage, and monitoring the system’s state. The projectiles have optimum combat effectiveness since the reconnaissance and firepower units are effectively connected to the command system.

File Image: Ship-borne helicopters fire missiles

Its launch and operational control vehicles can navigate autonomously and perform fast maneuvers and sophisticated firing missions in an unknown environment. The launch vehicle takes around five minutes to be ready to fire. It takes one minute to return to mobile mode after shooting.

The CM-501GA cruises using a combination of TV/infrared imagery and an inertial navigation system that may be supported by the global satellite navigation system. The CM-501GA missile is 2 meters long with a 180 mm diameter.

It has a 20-kilogram high-explosive warhead with a range of 5-40 kilometers and weighs 100 kilos. According to the manufacturer, the hit precision may be regulated to within 1 meter and the hit rate is 90%.