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M20

Short-range ballistic missile

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

The M20 can carry not only ballistic missiles, but also anti-ship missiles and artillery rockets

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service ?
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 30 ~ 40 t
Length ~ 11.5 m
Width ~ 3 m
Height ~ 3 m
Missile
Missile length 7.82 m
Missile diameter 0.75 m
Fin span ?
Missile weight 4 010 kg
Warhead weight 480 kg
Warhead type Conventional
Range of fire 280 km
CEP 30 ~ 45 m
Mobility
Engine Deutz diesel
Engine power 517 hp
Maximum road speed 75 km/h
Range 650 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 45%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

   The M20 is a Chinese short-range ballistic missile. It was developed specially for export. This weapon is modeled after the Russian Iskander-E and is being proposed as its alternative. However the Chinese M20 uses containerized missiles and is overall a more versatile system. The launcher vehicle can carry not only ballistic missiles, but also anti-ship missiles and artillery rockets. The M20 has been exported to Qatar. Version of this ballistic missile system is used by Turkey. Also there were plans to produce the M20 missile in Belarus.

   The M20 is a road mobile system, based on a 8x8 high mobility chassis. The launcher vehicle carries 2 containerized missiles. A couple of different chassis were used, including a Wanshan WS2400 special wheeled chassis.

   The M20 missile was specially designed to meet Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) restrictions. It has a maximum range of 280 km and carries a 480 kg warhead. The M20 was specially designed to be just short of the 300 km range and 500 kg payload in order to overcome export restrictions set by the MTCR. It carries conventional high-explosive, cluster, fuel-air explosive, bunker-busting, and possibly some other types of  warheads. Nuclear and chemical warheads are not available for export customers, however this missile could potentially carry such warheads.

   This ballistic missile is fitted with both inertial and satellite guidance systems. Each missile can be targeted independently. The missile can be retargeted in flight. This allows to engage moving targets. This ballistic missile is accurate out to 30-45 meters. Though it is also possible that this missile has a pinpoint accuracy and is accurate to around 5-10 meters.

   This ballistic missile reportedly has built-in countermeasures and is capable of evading hostile missile defense systems. Most likely that in the terminal phase of the flight it excessively maneuvers and releases decoys. In some cases this ballistic missile can be used as an alternative to precision bombing.

   Unique feature of the M20 launcher vehicle is that it can also carry other missiles. It is compatible with CX-1 cruise missiles, SY-400 ballistic missiles, pods with A-100 and A-200 artillery rockets.

   The M20 launcher vehicle is operated by a crew of 4. Crewmembers are seated in a double cab. It takes around 15 minutes to launch both missiles from traveling, or around 5 minutes when the system is in highest readiness. The second missile can be launched within around a minute after the first one.

   The Wanshan WS2400 chassis is powered by a Deutz diesel engine, developing 517 hp. Vehicle has good cross-country mobility and can operate off road.

   A combat unit of the M20 includes 6 launchers with missiles, 6 reloading vehicles with spare missiles and command post vehicle, based on a 6x6 special wheeled chassis.

 

Variants

 

   M20A is a high-precision ballistic missile. This missile is different than the baseline M20.

   M20B is an anti-ship missile.

   DF-12 is an improved version of the M20. It was reportedly adopted by the Chinese armed forces in 2013. As far as it is version for the Chinese military, it is not limited by the MTCR restrictions. It has a larger fuel tank and has a range of around 400-600 km. Even though such range is rather short comparing with other China's ballistic missiles, the DF-12 can reach all areas in Taiwan. This missile is nuclear capable. Most likely that the DF-12 has a pinpoint accuracy and is accurate to around 5-10 meters.

   Khan is a Turkish license-produced version of the M20. During the last years Turkey made several attempts to purchase short-range ballistic missiles from NATO countries. However the NATO condemned these potential purchases, causing Turkey to look for the missiles from non-NATO countries and to produce them domestically. The Khan is based on a Belarusian MZKT-7909 heavy high mobility chassis. It was first publicly revealed in 2017. Some sources report that this system was adopted in 2017. In 2019 at least one missile was launched from Turkish territory against targets in Iran.

   Polonez-M is a Belarusian artillery rocket system. It is an improved version of the Polonez. It is capable of carrying pods with Chinese M20 missiles. It is based on an MZKT-7930 heavy high mobility chassis. This system was demonstrated and made test launches in 2017. It was planned that the M20 missiles will be license-produced in Belarus.

   KN-23 is a North Korean short-range ballistic missile. Its launcher vehicle resembles that of the Russian Iskander. However most likely that this ballistic missile was also developed with China's assistance.

 

 
Chinese M20 ballistic missile

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Chinese M20 ballistic missile

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Chinese M20 ballistic missile

Expand image

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

Expand image

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

Expand image

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

Expand image

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

Expand image

Chinese M20 ballistic missile

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