Rwandan Defense Forces operating Chinese Red Arrow HJ-9A Anti-tank Guided Missile

The Rwandan Defense Force is now operating the Chinese-made Red Arrow HJ-9A Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) mounted on the turret of an Otokar Cobra infantry mobility vehicle.

These were displayed for the first time at the annual combined arms exercise at the Gabiro Combat Training Centre on 11 December. The Hard Punch III exercise was attended by President Paul Kagame.

The Red Arrow HJ-9A (Hong Jian 9A)

The HJ-9A (Hong Jian 9A or Red Arrow 9A) is a tripod-mounted version of the HJ-9 anti-tank guided missile, It is a long-range, high-power anti-tank guided missile system. It is normally mounted on various vehicles. The HJ-9A was designed to engage tanks, armored vehicles and fortifications. It is capable of defeating even the latest main battle tanks.

The HJ-9A has a tandem High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead. It could potentially penetrate around 1 200 mm of steel armor behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). So the HJ-9A can penetrate the front armor even of the latest main battle tanks.

Once the missile is launched, the weapons operator only has to keep the sight’s crosshair on the target. Maximum range of fire is around 5 km.

Rwanda could be the first export user for the type, which is in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.


Rwanda Defense Force is also operating the Chinese PCL-09 self-propelled howitzers.


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Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor