China Showcases Networked Missile System at Doha Maritime Defense Expo

The eighth edition of the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition opened in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on the 4th local time. The exhibition, which lasts for three days, will continue until the 6th.

According to reports, more than 200 military-industrial enterprises from around the world participated in this exhibition, covering a comprehensive range of maritime defense systems, including warships, missiles, drones, radar, electronic warfare systems, network security systems, and more.

Chinese companies made a high-profile display of a mysterious weapon system – the CM-501GA system, commonly known among Chinese internet users as “China Net Fire”. This equipment surpasses similar products from other countries in all aspects of performance indicators.

Speaking of “Networked Missile System,” it dates back to the 1990s. At that time, the U.S. military aimed to develop a system capable of reconnaissance outside defended areas and rapidly striking moving targets in small-scale conflicts. They wanted a system that could hover over the target area, conduct battlefield surveillance, target search, damage assessment, and directly strike targets or call for precise strike missile supplementation. Due to its need for vertical launch capability to minimize size, it was also referred to as a non-line-of-sight launch system.

However, due to the overly advanced design specifications at the time and the immaturity of various aspects, as well as significant cost overruns, the project was eventually cut. However, nobody expected that years later, this weapon system would be developed in China – the CM-501GA, formally known as the Multi-Purpose Precision Strike Missile Weapon System. It consists of reconnaissance fire control radar and missile launchers, integrating reconnaissance and attack capabilities, capable of detecting and tracking targets during movement, and conducting rapid deployment and firepower strikes in complex terrain.

As seen in the image, the CM-501GA uses the Warrior CTL181A double-row protective chassis 6×6 off-road vehicle as its platform. This platform is adaptable to various terrains with a range of 700 kilometers, indicating the CM-501GA’s strong battlefield adaptability for long-duration mobile operations. The vertical launch method of the CM-501GA is quite similar to the previously developed networked missile system in the United States, both of which belong to non-line-of-sight launch systems.

During the launch process, both systems do not require pre-aiming at the target location. Missiles ascend vertically from the launch box, reaching a certain height, and autonomously adjusting their course. They fly in a high-trajectory gliding manner, using INS/GPS systems for cruise guidance, and, as they approach the target, achieve precise terminal guidance through television/infrared imaging guidance heads.

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