The HJ-12 has a range of 4,000 meters in daytime, and 2,000 meters at nighttime through using imaging infrared (IIR) sensors. Man-portable, IHS Janes states that the complete 22 kg HJ-12 system includes a 5 kg IIR and electro-optical targeting sight, as well as the 15kg, 13.5 cm wide, 98 cm long missile itself. It has "fire and forget" capability, which means the HJ-12 will automatically track the target tank without any further operator input. Another important modern feature is the top down attack capability; the ATGM flies up in the last seconds of flight to then dive into the tank's turret roof, where armor is usually the weakest. In direct flight mode, the HJ-12's tandem warhead can penetrate up to 1,100mm of steel armor, which is plenty for many current tanks. The outcome is a weapon that provides infantry in urban combat, amphibious and airborne missions a quick, long range capability to ambush and defend against even the most modern enemy tanks equipped with reactive armor.