Breaking Out the Big Guns: Beijing Unveils New State-of-the-Art Missiles

© AP Photo / Zha ChunmingA destroyer of the South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy fires a missile during a training exercise.
A destroyer of the South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy fires a missile during a training exercise. - Sputnik International
A Chinese defense company has unveiled two new missiles for export during the Singapore Airshow this week.

Held annually, the Singapore Airshow is one of the largest defense exhibitions in the world. This year, the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) revealed two new missiles at the event.

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The TL-7 – short for "Thunder Lightning" – is an anti-ship missile available in three models, each capable of launching from different units. The TL-7A can be used by aircraft, the TL-7B by ground forces, and the TL-7C can be launched by ships.

With a range of roughly 110 miles, the missile is the export model of the KD-88.

"The KD-88 was the first medium-range optically-guided ground attack missile to arm the JH-7 [fighter bomber]," Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center told Defense News.

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Another Chinese export missile unveiled during the airshow is the slightly smaller TL-2. Fired from a ground-based launcher or drone, the missile features a circular error-probable range of 2-10 meters, and is available in three modes, including lock-on before launch, mid-course navigation, and lock-on after launch.

CATIC is a state-owned company that manages military export sales for the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

While there is no word on who these new weapons are intended to be marketed to, the TL-2 was previously promoted alongside the Chinese-made Loong/Pterodactyl drone. The Pterodactyls have been purchased in the past by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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