NORINCO HJ-73 (Red Arrow-73)
Man-Portable / Vehicular Anti-Tank Guided-Missile Weapon (ATGM) System
The Chinese HJ-73 Red Arrow Anti-Tank Guided-Missile System is a locally-produced Chinese copy of the Soviet-era 9M14 Malyutka.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The Chinese defense industry, namely NORINCO (China NORth INdustries COrporation) manufactures the Soviet-era 9M14 "Malyutka" (NATO codename of AT-3 "Sagger") Manual Command-to-Line-of-Sight (MCLOS), wire-guided Anti-Tank, Guided-Missile (ATGM) weapon system under the HJ-73 "Hongjian" ("Red Arrow") name. It retains all of the form-and-function of the Soviet model with four major localized variants developed under the HJ-73 primary designation. These include the base HJ-73 of 1979, the HJ-73B which introduced a SACLOS ("Semi-Automatic Command-to-Line-of-Sight") functionality, the HJ-73C with SACLOS and a stand-off probe assembly (the latter for improved results against Explosive Reactive Armor - ERA - blocks), and the HJ-73D SACLOS unit with its High-Explosive, Anti-Tank (HEAT) armor-defeating tandem warhead.
The 9M14 deserves note in Soviet military lore as becoming its first man-portable ATGM solution and the weapon has been used in its varied forms throughout countless wars including the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), and, more recently the Syrian Civil War (2011) and the Saudi-Yemen War (2015-Present). It has a proven track record and multi-role battlefield capability, able to engage armored/unarmored vehicles as well as fortified positions. Design work took place in the early 1960s yet, despite this, the weapon system continues to have an immense reach on the modern battlefield.
The Chinese military has an inventory of thousands of these weapon systems. The Red Arrow line features effective engagement ranges between 500 and 3,000 meters giving attack crews a good "reach" against far-ranging targets. The 125mm caliber missile travels at speeds of 115 to 130 meters-per-second. The weapon is a flexible enough to be fired from its prepared launcher unit or from a vehicle / aircraft.