The HJ-8A (红箭-8A式反坦克导弹) is a Chinese ATGM from early 1980s and was introduced to the game in Update "Drone Age", alongside with the Chinese helicopter tech tree.
It is the second missile of the HJ family of ATGMs in service and the "2nd generation" ATGM of PLAGF based on the 302 missiles on 122 medium tanks. Although it has a rather slow flight speed, short range and lesser penetration against later tanks with composite armour; if utilized correctly, it can still make sure the enemy will meet their end with a precise hit on their critical compartments.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
|Maximum speed||250 m/s|
|Missile guidance time||16 secs|
|Firing range||3 km|
|Explosive mass||1.96 kg TNTeq|
|Armour penetration||480 mm|
Like most missiles with a HEAT warhead, the HJ-8A does explosion damage upon hitting the surface of the vehicles. It also causes splash damage to internal modules and crews of vehicles, alternatively the sheer explosion itself will cause overpressure damage to very light vehicles.
Comparison with analogues
- 302- HJ-8's de facto ancestor and shares mostly identical characteristics.
- BGM-71- The standard the HJ-8s aimed for; but lags behind in most aspects, especially damage and range.
- 9M17M - Although the HJ-8A shines at its speed; both the range and damage is inferior to the Falanga's.
Usage in battles
Due to the fact that it was the first SACLOS ATGM of the PLAGF and the difference in technical development, most of the combat requirements of HJ-8A are rather insufficient for its year of service; let alone the carriers of HJ-8A are at least BR 8.7. So players might have trouble on playing with the missile with a lesser explosive content and penetration than its counterparts. To make the best use out of this short range, slow-flying, players have to utilize its carriers (i.e Z-11WA) with excellent mobility to sneak behind enemy lines or covered flanks where enemies need some time to find you. As soon as enemies have spotted you, evade and wait until the battlefield allows you to send off the remaining missiles on existing targets or rearm.
Pros and cons
- Sufficiently large calibre for an ATGM
- Rather slow velocity
- Short range of only 3 km, high risk of receiving retaliatory fire
- Lesser penetration and explosive to most ATGMs at its tier
After the decade long development of J-201 (ATGM that resembled to a Cobra; failed in bidding to reverse-engineered 9M14) and the subsequence HJ-73 entered service in 1978, PLAGF was already lagged behind the mainstream of ATGM development (which ATGMs of the era were already SCALOS guided). But way before their competition, the story of HJ-8 has already begun.
As the US Army BGM-71 TOW has completed its test in late 1960s as well as the commission of Milan or HOT missiles, PLAGF has already started their pre-development design works on a new "2nd generation" ATGM in late 1969 by the design team led by Wang Xingzhi (王兴治; ex-designer team member of HJ-73); but by the time they started the development, due to the turmoil of Cultural Revolution that also affected weapon designers and the menacing Soviet troops on the border, the whole Institute 1105 (later Institute 203) has to be moved from Shenyang, Liaoning way back into Sanqiao Township, Xi'an, Shaanxi and later somewhere by the foot of the Zhongnan Mountains (终南山) while halted the development for 3 years until 1972. The team has to built a new test site from scratch from the materials available on-site, then a hundred-meters long railing and a concrete bunker for target tests; the development resumed in 1974.
The difficulty on developing of new guidance system was that it was based a completely new concept of guidance- IR guidance where the system has to keep the error within 1 rad/1000 m; it took the engineers 4 years and many tests in desert for methods on filtering the background heat from the environment. The underpowered rocket engine, lack of funding, development of guidance wire (which also took years to develop; ranging from the wire itself and adhesive residue), high overload gyroscope as well as missile tray catching mechanism (where the tray would break the guidance wire if didn't stopped within the tube). Although there were suggestions to introduce French Milan missiles into PLAGF service, but this was ditched in view of the high cost and supporting domestic weapons. All the result of HJ-8 finally fruited as the first certification test in 1984 was successful and later tests even achieved high accuracy in supplementary tests (34 out of 35); after its first appearance in 1984's 35th National Day Parade, the missile system passed for certifications in 1985.
Like many Chinese weapons of 1980s, HJ-8 family was exported to multiple countries and the later variants has scored some victories over enemy tanks including T-72, M-84 (rumored during the Yugoslavia Civil War) and even M1A1Ms of Iraqi Army.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- HJ-8 family
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
- PP.74-44, Part 2, Song of "Red Arrow"- HJ-8: The Heroic Orchestra by Cai Yinsheng, 2014 Issue 7, Ordinance Knowledge, ISSN 1000-4912
- 军工记忆I 红箭-8反坦克导弹 Memories of Military Industry Part 1- HJ-8 ATGM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDmxClbI8TE