The Algerian military has reportedly acquired an export version of the Chinese YJ-12B costal defense system armed with CM-302 supersonic anti-ship missiles.
On May 18, a photo showing a TEL [Transporter Erector Launcher] of the system moving in an unspecified part of Algeria surfaced online.
It remains unclear when Algerian acquired the advanced system, or how many were purchased. The Algerian military does not usually disclose any information about its purchases. China also maintains a high level of secrecy when it comes to its weapons exports.
The CM-302 is the export version of the YJ-12, which was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC)
The missile was developed to disable ships with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons. However, it can be also used in a land attack role. It has a range of 280 kilometers and a warhead weighting at least 250 kg.
The CM-302 navigation system relies on the Chinese satellite system BeiDou with a data-link for mid-course updates. The missile is equipped with an active radar seeker for terminal homing to achieve a 90% probability of hitting its target.
According to CASIC, the missile is supersonic throughout its flight. The missile travels at a mid-course speed of Mach 1.5-2 and accelerate to Mach 3 or higher during the terminal flight phase.
Algeria was the first customer of the CM-302 missile, but wont be the last. The anti-ship system will reportedly enter service with the Pakistani military very soon.
In the recent years, Algeria boosted its military capabilities in order to address a number of serious threats in Northern Africa and Western Mediterranean, from unrest in neighboring Libya to tensions with Morocco over the disputed region of Western Sahara.