Friday, 18 November 2011

HongQi 7 Surface-to-Air Missile System

The HongQi 7 (HQ-7), also known as FeiMeng 80 (FM-80) in its export form, is an all-weather short range air defence system developed by 2nd Aerospace Academy (now China Academy of Defence Technology.
The development of the HongQi 7 surface-to-air missile (SAM) began in 1999 to meet a requirement of the PLA for a mobile, short-range, low- and very low-altitude air defence system. The programme was managed by the 2nd Aerospace Academy (also known as China Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy, now China Academy of Defence Technology). 23 Institute was responsible for the development of radar fire control system, and 206 Institute was responsible for the ground equipment.
The HongQi 7 is almost identical in physical and technical characteristic to the French Thales Air Defence (formerly Thomson-CSF Airsys) Crotale air-defence missile system. China imported few examples of Crotale and its shipborne version Sea Crotale in the late 1970s when it formed an alliance with Western countries against the Soviet Union. Thomson-CSF was expecting more orders to follow but China developed its own version by reverse-engineering the examples it obtained. This was probably tolerated or even tacitly consented by the French government in exchange for China’s co-operation in the Cold War.The Hong Qi 7 missile features a long, slim body with sharp nose, four stabilisation fins, and four front canards. The missile has multi-target interception capabilities to engage targets from same or different directions. Using a solid rocket motor, the missile has a max speed of Mach 2.3 and a range of 12km. The Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS) guidance uses radar and electro-optical sensors. Guidance operating modes include IR, IR+TV, and manual, with robust resistance to active/passive jamming and meteorological noises. The missile is armed with a high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead, initiated by with a proximity fuse.

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