The AFT-9 combines a cost-effective vehicle platform with powerful anti-tank missiles.

Similar to the Soviet 9P148 armed with Konkurs and the French VAB Mephisto, armed with HOT missiles, China also developed a vehicle-mounted anti-tank guided missile system, the AFT-9. HJ-9 development began in the early 1980s, and finished in the late 1990s. It was unveiled to the public officially in a military parade in 1999. The AFT-9 is also proposed for the export customers. Overall it is an advanced anti-tank missile system.

The AFT-9 combines a cost-effective vehicle platform with powerful anti-tank missiles. The weapon system is built on the WZ-550 4×4 chassis. As a result, it shares many automotive parts with other vehicles in the Chinese army. The crew of three includes the commander, the driver and the gunner. The optical and guidance systems are located in the launcher, with two HJ-9 missiles on both sides.

The wheeled chassis allows for good mobility on roads, with a maximum speed of up to 95 km/h and a range of 600 km. The turbo-charged diesel engine provides up to 320 hp. The large wheels and 4×4 drive provide a reasonable cross country mobility in all but the most difficult terrain. The AFT-9 is fully amphibious and can cross calm water obstacles.

The AFT-9 is armed with more Chinese HJ-9 heavy anti-tank missiles, which developed by NORINCO. It is designed to engage main battle tanks, armored vehicles and fortifications. The HJ-9 has a maximum range of 5.5 km, and a minimum range of 100 m, guided by semi-automatic command to line of sight laser beam riding. Claimed penetration of rolled homogeneous armour is 120 cm, which is greater than the HJ-8. The missile can mount various warheads including a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shaped charge, high explosive (HE), or thermal, for use against non-armored point targets, bunkers, and fortifications.

The vehicle has a retractable weapon station with 4 launchers that are ready to use. In traveling mode missile launchers are retracted inside the hull. This weapon station is controlled remotely. Also there are 8 reload missiles, stored inside the hull. So a total of 12 missiles are carried. Missiles are reloaded automatically. Rate of fire is about 2 missiles per minute.

The mobility of the platform and the stand-off range of the missiles are the main factors that determine the surviveability of the AFT-9. Additionally, the steel hull protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. The HJ-9 missiles are launched from under armor protection. Collective NBC protection is present on the vehicle. Smoke grenade launchers are fitted for self-defense.


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