CSS-N-2 Silkworm **


HY-2 Silkworm **
HY-2 Seersucker **
HY-1 Sea Eagle
FL-1 Flying Dragon
SY-1 Water Eagle

EQUIPMENT CATEGORY: Missiles/Rockets -- Anti-Ship

LATEST UPDATE: 1 July 1998

PICTURES OF: CSS-N-2 Silkworm **

**US/NATO code name or designation


The Chinese Silkworm is a series of shipboard and coastal defense anti-ship missiles developed from the Soviet SS-N-2 Styx **. Although most Silkworm variants represent obsolete technology, the missile became widely publicized in 1987 when Iranian Silkworms were used against merchant ships in the Persian Gulf.

The following names and designations refer to missiles in the Silkworm family: HY-1 Hai Ying (Sea Eagle ); HY-2; HY-4; FL-1 Fei Lung (Flying Dragon); FL-2; FL-4; FL-7; SY-1 Shui Ying (Water Eagle).

The HY-1 (CSS-N-1 **) is identical to the Soviet SS-N-2 Styx and was the original Chinese production model.

The HY-2 is the primary Chinese development of the Styx . The HY-2 is a mobile, land-based coastal defense weapon. The primary difference from the HY-1 is a smaller warhead. Instead of the larger warhead, more fuel is carried, giving the missile a longer range. The HY-2 cruises at an altitude of 330 ft (100 m); the HY-2G cruises at an altitude of 100-165 ft (30-50 m). They are mounted on a variety of fixed and mobile launchers. Iranian Silkworms have been reported to be fitted in eight-wheeled trucks or stationary sites. Mobile radar units may accompany the missile launchers.

The HY-4 is a further modification of the HY-2. It has a solid-rocket booster and a turbojet sustainer. The HY-4 cruises at an altitude of 656 ft (200 m) and drops to 230 ft (70 m) during terminal homing. At the end of the flight, the HY-4 dives steeply into the target.

The SY-1 may be another designation for the HY- 1, or it may be a version of the FL-1.

The FL-1 is a shipboard version of the HY-2G. It is fired from trainable launchers (on the larger ships) or fixed launchers on small combatants.

The FL-2 is a solid-fuel version of the HY-2 with a jettisonable solid-fuel booster.

The FL-4 is a shipboard version of the HY-4.

The FL-7 is a reportedly more accurate, version of the HY-2. It is intended as a replacement for the HY-2.

It is possible that the HY designations refer to missiles manufactured by the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Company (CPMIEC), and the FL designations refer to those made by the China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC).



HY-1 Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 1965. HY-2 entered production in the mid-1970s. The HY-4 was first seen in 1988. FL-2 first displayed in 1987. In service. North Korea has been reported to have begun manufacturing CSS-N- 2s.


Manufactured by Chinese State Factories and marketed by China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC), Beijing, China.


 North Korea


 (If a variant is not listed under a specific
 characteristic, the HY-2 description applies.
 For HY-1 characteristics, see the Styx
   HY-2                   6,614 lb. (3,000 kg)
   HY-4/FL-4              4,409 lb. (2,000 kg)
   FL-2 without booster   2,865 lb. (1,300 kg)
   FL-7                   3,967 lb. (1,800 kg)
      configuration       resembles stubby jet
       aircraft with rounded nose; "cropped
       delta" mainplanes with guidance aerials
       at tips tri-form tail group; rocket
       booster under fuselage length
        HY-2              24 ft  2 in (7.36 m)
        FL-2              19 ft  8 in (6.00 m)
        FL-7              21 ft  8 in (6.60 m)
        HY-2                    30 in (760 mm)
        FL-2/7                  21 in (540 mm)
      wing span
        HY-2               9 ft  0 in (2.75 m)
        FL-2               5 ft  7 in (1.71 m)
      HY-2   liquid-fuel rocket with solid-fuel
      HY-4   turbojet sustainer with solid-fuel
      FL-2   solid-fuel rocket with solid-fuel
        HY-2              Mach 0.9
        HY-4              Mach 0.8
        FL-7              Mach 1.7
      maximum range
        HY-2          51.3 nm (59 mi.; 95 km)
        HY-4          81.0 nm (93.2 mi.; 150 km)
        FL-2          27.0 nm (31.1 mi.;  50 km)
        FL-7          17.3 nm (20.0 mi.;  32 km)
        HY-2   1,131 lb. (513 kg) high explosive
        HY-4   1,102 lb. (500 kg) high explosive
        FL-2   804 lb. (365 kg) high explosive
        FL-7   3,967 lb. (1,800 kg) high
 Sensors/Fire Control:
        HY-2A   Infrared (IR) homing, cassegrain
        HY-2G/HY-4/FL-4   I-band monopulse radar
                          and radio altimeter
        FL-1  J-band monopulse active radar
              seeker, radio altimeter
        FL-2/7  active radar seeker


Original Chinese copy of the Soviet SS-N-2 Styx . See separate database entry.
As listed above.
The HY-3 is a variant of the C101 air-to-surface missile. See separate database entry.
HY-4 Air-launched Version
Lighter version (3,836 lb.; 1,740 kg) for use by aircraft. Development to increase the range from 93.2 mi. (150 km) to 124.2 mi. (200 km) began in 1994. This will most like be achieved with a greater fuel capacity.
C601 Air-launched anti-ship missile
Very similar to HY-2; see separate database entry.
A coastal defense variant believed to have been in development since at least 1991. An air- launched version of the same variant may follow, however, these reports are unconfirmed by Periscope editors.




Chinese exports of Silkworm missiles to Iran began in 1986. September 1987 saw the first use of Silkworms by Iran; three were launched and all failed to hit any target.

On 15 October 1987, an Iranian Silkworm missile struck and seriously damaged a US-owned tanker flying the Liberian flag. The SS SUNGARI was anchored nine miles off the Mina al Ahmadi oil terminal in Kuwait when one missile blew a 10 x 13 ft (3 x 4 m) hole in its side. No crew members were injured.

A day later, however, another Silkworm struck the recently reflagged US tanker SEA ISLE CITY in a ventilating tower just forward of the bridge. Damage was much more extensive and several crew members, including both captains (the original Italian captain and the new US captain), were wounded. In retaliation, on 19 October, four US destroyers fired approx. 1,000 5-inch rounds against oil platforms said to have provided radar surveillance of the central Gulf and forward basing for fast attack craft. A later missile attack resulted in damage to a Kuwaiti oil refinery.

Iranian Silkworm batteries on the Faw Peninsula were overrun during a limited offensive by Iraq that captured the area in April 1988. Launch pads for the missiles were reportedly prepared along much of the Iran's Persian Gulf coast during the last year of the 1980-1988 Gulf War.

As coalition forces supported Operation Desert Storm's ground offensive to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in February 1991, two Silkworm missiles were launched against warships in the northern Persian Gulf. One, which was headed toward the US battleship MISSOURI (BB 63), was shot down by a Sea Dart Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) fired by the British guided-missile destroyer HMS GLOUCESTER. The other Silkworm lost radar lock and crashed into the Gulf. Many other Silkworm launch sites had already been destroyed by coalition air attacks.

It has been reported that during a recent Iranian Naval exercise, Iranian forces test fired an improved version of Chinese Silkworm missiles, known as Piroozi (Victory)-75. It has been implied that the missiles had been updated in Iran.

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