The Chinese HongQi 7 SAM

The Chinese HongQi 7 SAM

Though China is a Communist Nation, its relationship with the West has been relaxed over the decades compared to the former USSR and such as China has legitimately obtained Western arms technology. It has been reported that China was able to obtain the French Crotale EDIR (EcartomĂ©trie DiffĂ©rentielle InfraRouge, “InfraRed Differential Ecartometry”) all-weather short-range anti-air missile and reverse engineered it in to the Hong Qi 7 missile.

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. missile is armed with a high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead, initiated by with a proximity fuse.

The development of the HongQi 7 surface-to-air missile (SAM) began in 1979 to meet a requirement of the PLA for a mobile, short-range, low- and very low-altitude air defence system. Test missiles were made in 1983 and the first firing took place in 1985. Design certification was undertaken from July 1986 to June 1988. Production began shortly afterwards for use as filed air defence.

The HongQi 7 is available in two versions; the shelter-mounted version used by the PLAAF and self-propelled version used by the PLA ground forces. The export version FM-80 was first revealed in the 1989 Dubai Aerospace Show. Later in 1998 China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CNPMIEC) introduced an improved variant FM-90 featuring fast and longer-range missile and infrared camera to compliment the TC tracking camera.

The Chinese HongQi 7 SAM Specifications

Missile dimensions: (length) 3.00m; (diameter) 0.156m; (wingspan) 0.55m
Launch weight: 84.5kg
Operating altitude: 30~5,000m (HQ-7/FM-80); 15~6,000m (FM-90)
Minimum operating range: 500m (HQ-7/FM-80); 700m (FM-90)
Max operating range: 8,600m (400m/s target); 10,000m (300m/s target); 12,000m (helicopter); FM-90: 15,000m to all targets
Speed: Mach 2.3 (750m/s)
Guidance: Command + electro-optical tracking
Warhead: HE-FRAG with proximity fuse
Single shot hit probability: 70~80%
Radar detecting range: (HQ-7/FM-80) 18.4km; (FM-90) 25km
Radar homing range: (HQ-7/FM-80) 17km; (FM-90) 20km