China’s Houbei class fast-speed missile boats « China Daily Mail

Reuters says in its annual report on the Chinese military, the Pentagon said earlier this month the Chinese navy had deployed about 60 of the Houbei class fast-speed missile boats.

With an estimated top speed of more than 36 knots, the 225-tonne boats can attack with their YJ-83 anti-ship missiles with a range of 200 km. They also appear to be equipped with advanced data processing links so these missiles can be directed from sensors on other aircraft or ships.

The boat also has a close-in weapon system for defence against incoming missiles and what appears to be a launcher for anti-aircraft missiles. A retired US navy officer says, “This craft is a purebred ship killer, perhaps even a carrier killer,”

The fleet of 60 such crafts is an important part of China’s so-called “anti-access” strategy aimed at keeping foreign forces away from waters surrounding Taiwan in time of conflict.

via China’s Houbei class fast-speed missile boats « China Daily Mail.

I’d have a whole lot more confidence in the LCS program if they were armed with an anti-ship missile that could defeat missile armed Fast Attack Craft like this.

Yes, I know, the preferred method would be to engage them with HARMs and Mavericks via TACAIR, but even then, some leakers are going to get through. Surface naval forces need to be able to engage.

The current US primary anti-ship missile, the Harpoon, while a good weapon, is old, and worse, it is quite slow, making it vulnerable to intercept.

The other US anti-ship missile, the SM-2, is an anti-air weapon with a secondary anti-surface capability. The problem is, it is primarily a line-of-sight weapon because it needs its target illuminated by the launching ship.

I’d be happy to see an interim SM-2 based anti-ship variant with an autonomous seeker.

5 thoughts on “China’s Houbei class fast-speed missile boats « China Daily Mail”

  1. I doubt the flags have given much thought to boats such as that. I believe they think they already have the solution in house and in service, and I doubt very much they do.

    I’d also like to see the SSN force increased by about a factor of 4, or 2 at a minimum. The next war will see us win or defeated, I think, within the first 90 days. We will fight with what we have on hand then, and win or lose with what we have. Either we make the investment, or prepare to lose.

  2. Man, that thing even looks evil, doesn’t it? Unlike the FREEDOM Class, which looks like a yacht, and the INDEPENDENCE Class, that looks like a mistake.

  3. The problem here is that most of the flag ranks are still pining for the days of the big open water conflict. Like what we were planning for during the cold war. Hence the Zumwalt class “destroyers” that weight more than the Bizmarck, have more computing power than a large university and are as defenseless as a kitten against these boats and the DF-21 anti-ship missile. The irony is that this boat is just what Admiral Zumwalt wanted to combat the Reds. Small hydro-foil armed with Harpoons to zip in and harass the big Soviet cruisers and sink the Kiev. The rest of the Navy hated not having a large ship with lots of sailors to boss around, and like the Sea Shadow, it was shelved.

    The USS Cole’s attack came because of complacency and that noone saw small boats as a threat (except for Richard Marcinco). In the Persian Gulf, the Taiwan Straits or any littoral environment, this boat with rock. At the expense of our big ships sadly.

    Pure nightmare fuel guys: any export customers for these things? Betcha Iran and Syria want’em. I could seem them sailing up and down Africa and South America in service of every tin-pot dictator.

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