The Middle East has always shown considerable interest for coastal defence batteries, therefore finding a new one among the items exhibited at the World Defense Show in Riyadh does not comes as a big surprise. However this one features a major difference from those seen until now: it employs supersonic missiles, which allow reaching a target at around 300 km distance in less than 5 minutes, the missiles reaching a Mach 3.5 speed!
Poly Technologies of China, one of the major missile producers of that country, provided a considerable amount of data about its HD-1 supersonic missiles family, which includes an air launched missile, the HD-1A, and a canister-launched version, the HD-1C, the latter a dedicated antiship weapon system, both with a declared range of 30 to 290 km. The two models are very similar, main differences being in the type of warhead, probably in the control software, and obviously in the huge rocket motor booster fitted to the surface-launched version.
The missile has a diameter of 375 mm, weighs 1,200 kg, and is 5.7 meters long. Starting from the back we find the solid-propellant ramjet, which gets the air through two lateral air intakes at the end of which we find the control surfaces. The ramjet occupies a good portion of the length, then come the electronics, followed by the warhead and the seeker at the front.
The air-launched version is fitted with an infrared imaging sensor. Navigation is provided by an inertial platform with GPS update, that ensure a 20 m CEP, this figure being reduced to 10 meters when using also the IIR seeker. The 1C version features an active radar seeker, no details on the frequency band being provided, and this coupled to the navigation suite provides a 75% single-shot kill probability against a naval moving target.
The warhead weighs about 240 kg, the HD-1A being fitted with a fragmentation-blast warhead, while the HD-1C has a penetration blast warhead, the air-launched version being considered also for destroying land targets.
As said the most visible difference between the two missiles is given by the addition of a one-stage booster that allows the canister-launched version to reach a sufficient speed to initiate the ramjet. The booster has a 650 mm diameter, is 2.9 meters long and weighs more than the missile itself, bringing the HD-1C launch weight at 2,500 kg.
The coastal battery configuration is based on a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) with four canisters. Launch operations are very simple the system following the one-button launch concept, no preset launch sites being required. Missiles can be launched with a minimum 10 seconds interval. Once received the fire mission, it takes 5 minutes for the launcher to come to a halt, take position and fire the missile, the vehicle being again on its way in less than 3 minutes.
The TEL is based on a 10×10 truck that in combat order with the four missiles installed weighs 56 tonnes. It is 13 meters long, 3 meters wide and 3.9 meters high and can reach a maximum speed short of 100 km/h. No indication on the coastal battery organisation was provided, but EDR On-Line understood that this should be made of a truck-based command centre and an undisclosed number of TELs.
According to Poly Technologies the HD-1C has already started trials, the test phase being still underway. On the contrary the air-launched version has not yet been launched, the company seeking the right platform on which to integrate it, as this needs a considerable single point load capacity and a sufficient supersonic speed to initiate the ramjet.
No figures were provided on a possible in-service date.
Photos by P. Valpolini