The HJ-73 (Chinese: 红箭-73) is an ATGM developed in Mainland China during the 1970s based on the Soviet missile 9K11 Malyutka (NATO designation: AT-3 Sagger).
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
As it was based on the Soviet Malyutka ATGM, the HJ73 share the same characteristics. It is a MCLOS missile flying at a lower speed than most of its counterparts at the same BR.
The missile comes with a warhead of 2.6 kg TNT equivalent and deals the armour the damage equivalent of a HEAT shell, along with overpressure damage to lightly armoured vehicles.
Comparison with analogues
The HJ-73 is a reverse-engineered 9K11 ATGM so they perform equally in many aspects. At its BR, only the Japanese Type 64 ATGM falls way behind it in terms of its speed while their NATO counterpart SS.11 flies faster to its target.
Usage in battles
Since its carrier is the ZBD86, a reverse-engineered BMP-1, the HJ-73 requires players using their WASD key to control the missile to its target, making the launcher vulnerable to any possible attacks from enemies. The best way to utilize this missile is stay hidden and look for targets that are not on the move, then deliver your blow with this missile.
Pros and cons
- Sufficient speed at its tier.
- Can used as a last-ditch weapon in case gun barrel was knocked out.
- Penetration is sufficient at its tier.
- MCLOS meaning that players have to keep full control of the missile with your keyboard.
- It has trajectory that makes it not suitable for close-quarter combat.
During the late 1960s took place the Sino-Soviet border conflicts, especially around the Zhenbao / Damansky Island where the Mainland Chinese Army captured a Soviet T-62 from the Soviet Border Troops. The PLA found they were behind in terms of anti-armor weaponry, especially regarding ATGM capabilities (which were inexistent in Mainland China). A long-time friend of Mainland China, North Korea (DPRK), provided some 9K11 Malyutka missiles samples and Romania later provided another batch of samples for the PLA in 1973.
After multiple departments and research facilities efforts, finally in 1979, the HJ-73 had passed state tests and was ready to be commissioned in PLAGF. Later during the Sino-Vietnamese War, it proved its ability by "sniping" a Vietnamese commanding post 2,100 m apart from the launching site and all 4 of those missile launched hit its target.
Later with its latest HJ-73E modification, they served as a last-ditch weapon for PLAGF/PLA Airborne troops/PLANMC to handle heavier targets with its tandem warhead.
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