Algeria opts for the Sino Javelin HJ-12 ATGM

According to the Algeria is the first export customer of the HJ-12 (Red Arrow 12) guided anti-tank missile produced by the Chinese firm Norinco.

This missile is a much cheaper clone of the American FGM-148 Javelin missile launcher, the particularity of which is that it is Fire and Forget with a bell-shaped trajectory. Once the target has been acquired by the electro-optical system, the missile flies off without additional guidance and attacks the tank through its most exposed and least well-armored part, the roof.

The HJ-12 is equipped with an infrared finder scope, to which target information is sent from an uncooled third-generation thermal imaging sight, after which the target is captured and launched.

The mass of the projectile is 17 kg, for a length of 980 mm and a diameter of 135 mm. The ATGM has a cylindrical body shape with a transparent head fairing. In the central and aft parts of the hull are the folding wings and rudders. The explosive head is actually a tandem charge to defeat reactive armor. The missile can be equipped with fragmentation, explosive or thermobaric warheads. The maximum firing range can reach 4000m. In the dark and in poor visibility, the firing range is limited by the ability of the sight to detect and acquire the target. On a moonless night, the range of the night optics does not exceed 2000 m. NORINCO also offers a version with a TV guided missile which can be controlled by an operator.

Like the Javelin, the HJ-12 consists of a launcher and a missile in a disposable container that faces upward and not parallel to the ground like other ATGMs.

Algeria has a large quantity of Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles which have proven their worth in combat. The difference between the Kornet and the HJ-12 is of size, the HJ-12 has, in theory a better capacity of destruction than the Kornet because of its angle of attack and the fact that it is fire and forget leaves the time for his operator to take cover or move after firing, while the operator of the Kornet must guide his missile until impact.

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