|China/U.S. Designation||Changjian-20 (CJ-20), DH-20|
|Missile Variants||CJ-10 (ground-launched)|
|Mobility and Role||Air-launched/Land-Attack Cruise Missile|
|Designer/Producer||People’s Republic of China|
|Warhead Type and Weight||Conventional or Nuclear/ N/A|
|MIRV and Yield||No MIRV capabilities/Unknown|
|Guidance System/Accuracy||Inertial, GPS & Radar Terminal Correlation/5m CEP “est”|
|Status/Number of Units||In development/Unknown|
A variant of the Changjian-10 (CJ-10) land-attack cruise missile (LACM), the CJ-20 is an air-launched LACM.[i] The U.S. Air Global Strike Command estimated the nuclear-capable variant would be operational by 2018.[ii] However, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in 2017 stated that both the CJ-20 and the CJ-10 are non nuclear-capable. [iii]
Although the weight and yield of the nuclear CJ-20 is unconfirmed, its CJ-10 predecessor possesses an estimated 400kg payload and yield likely ranging from 20 to 90 kT.[iv] Approximations of the CJ-20’s range vary, and include distances up to 2,200km.[v]
Designed to be launched from the H-6K strategic bomber, which has a 3,700km combat radius and can carry up to six cruise missiles,[vi] the CJ-20 will significantly enhance the PRC’s long-range nuclear strike capabilities when fully developed. Likely capable of reaching Japan, Guam, and northern Australia, the CJ-20 will be a crucial addition to the PRC’s anti-access/area denial and first-strike capabilities.[vii]
[i] IHS Global, “Military might – China develops its strategic missile systems,” Jane’s Intelligence Review 25.9, September 1, 2013, http://www.janes.com/magazines/ihs-janes-intelligence-review.
[ii] James M. Kowalski, Command Briefing, U.S. Global Strike Command, May 7, 2013, available at http://blogs.fas.org/security.
[iv] Center for Strategic and International Studies Missile Defense Project, “Hong Niao Series (HN-1/-2/-3),” last updated August 12, 2016, https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile/hn/.
iv] Global Security, “DH-10 / CH-10 / CJ-10,” no date, http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/china/lacm.htm.
[vi] Robert P. Haffa Jr. and Michael W. Isherwood, “Long Range Conventional Strike: A Joint Family of Systems,” Joint Force Quarterly 60 (1st Quarter 2011): 103, http://ndupress.ndu.edu/portals/68/Documents/jfq/jfq-60.pdf.
[vii] Haffa and Isherwood, “Long Range Conventional Strike,” 103.