Global Defense Corp reported that Myanmar is receiving the first batch of SY-400 (also called “DF-12A”) short-range ballistic missile system from China, thus becoming the second user of the SY-400 guided rocket artillery (or referred to as SY-400 Short-Range Ballistic Missile outside China).
The outside world generally believes that Myanmar’s purchase of the SY-400 short-range ballistic missile system is to counter the long-range rockets of neighboring countries. The potential opponent of Myanmar is mainly Bangladesh.
It is believed that the introduction of SY-400 ballistic missile systems will enhance the long-range strike capability of the Myanmar Army, such as Bangladesh’s Chittagong Port and Cox Bazar airbase.
SY400 is a new-generation ballistic missile system developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, mainly used for long-range precision fire strikes.
It was reported that Qatar became the first user of SY-400 ballistic missiles, as in 2017, Qatar showed SY-400 ballistic missiles. However, Qatar chose BP12A tactical ballistic missiles instead of “guided rockets”. It is still unknown whether Myanmar is receiving guided rockets or BP12A tactical ballistic missiles.
According to Chinese military analyst Xiao Feizhu, the biggest feature of the SY-400 ballistic missile system is the use of a vertical launch system, which is the first time in the history of the development of rocket launchers in the world. The biggest advantage of the vertical launch system compared with the traditional tilting directional device of a rocket launcher is that it can attack in all directions at any time, and there is no need to rotate the directional director like a traditional rocket launcher. Therefore, there is no need to install height and direction machines, and the structure of the rocket launcher is simplified. Of course, the disadvantage is that the design of the rocket is relatively complicated, and it is necessary to increase the relay inertial navigation system and the thrust vector so that the rocket can quickly turn to the predetermined target after the rocket is launched.
According to the manufacturer specification, the SY-400 rocket is about 6 meters in length and 0.4 meters in diameter. Each launching vehicle is equipped with eight launch containers. The maximum range for a 300 kg warhead is 150 km, and for a 200 kg warhead is 200 km. The SY-400 rocket uses relay inertial guidance and can also be equipped with a final guidance system, which has a high hit accuracy. In addition, it also uses a side strip wing, which can provide greater lift for the rocket, allowing it to carry out maneuvering orbiting flight in the atmosphere and improve its penetration ability. Therefore, overseas sources mostly mention it as a “short-range precision-attack ballistic missile” rather than “multiple rocket launcher system”.
Since the SY-400 uses a vertical launch system, it can be modularized, and match different missiles and rockets as needed. The most commonly integrated one is the BP12A short-range tactical ballistic missile, which has a length of 6 meters and a diameter of 0.6 meters. It is equipped with a 480kg warhead and has a range of 280 kilometers.
The outside world believes that its range should be farther. The guidance system is INS / BDS, and the final guidance can also be used, and the hit accuracy can reach 30 meters, with variable program trajectory and strong penetration ability. BP12A and SY-400 can be installed separately on a launch vehicle, and the launch vehicle can be equipped with 2 BP12A missile launch containers or 8 SY-400 rocket launch containers, or a mixture of 1 BP12A missile launch container and 4 SY-400 rocket launch containers.
Thailand has introduced WS-1B long-range rocket system from China. Its range can reach 150 kilometers. It has also achieved localization and successfully developed a domestic DTI-1 long-range rocket system.
Myanmar seems to be optimistic about the excellent performance of SY-400 ballistic missile systems. As mentioned earlier, the range and response speed of SY-400 is better than WS-1B.
In particular, it can integrate BP12A short-range tactical ballistic missiles, which can provide Myanmar with ballistic missile attack capabilities in an economical and fast way. Southeast Asian countries generally do not have advanced air defense and anti-missile systems and cannot defend against SY-400 and BP12A missile attacks. Therefore, the SY-400 ballistic missile system has a strong deterrent capability there. This should be the main reason why Myanmar chose SY-400.
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