PLA Air to Air Missiles

Discussion in 'China' started by Bornubus, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Background
    The PLA-AF and PLA-N operate a diverse mix of indigenously manufactured and imported Russian Air to Air Missiles (AAM), carried by a no less diverse fleet of combat aircraft.

    While imported Russian R-27 / AA-10 Alamo, R-73 / AA-11 Archer and R-77 / AA-12 Adder AAMs are primarily used with the imported Russian built Su-27SK / J-11A and Su-30MKK/MK3 Flankers, indigenous Chinese built weapons are dominant across the Chinese built fleets of J-10A/S Sinocanard, J-11B Sino-Flanker, J-8 Finback, J-7 Fishbed, J-6 Farmer, A-5/Q-5 Fantan, and JH-7 Flying Leopard.

    China manufactures only two Beyond Visual Range (BVR) guided AAMs, the active radar guided PL-12/SD-10 “Sino-AMRAAM” and a reverse engineered semi-active radar guided Selenia Aspide Mk.1, designated the PL-11.
    A much more diverse inventory of heatseeking short range weapons exists. These include analogues or derivatives of a range of Western missiles, such as the AIM-9 family and Rafael Python 3 series, and uniquely Chinese developments such as the TY-90, designed for air combat between helicopters.

    Most Chinese built AAMs have been adapted for use as SAMs, either land based, naval, or both. Most are also being offered widely for export.

    In perspective, the unpalatable reality of this decade is that Australia's RAAF faces a genuine 'rainbow threat' environment across the wider region. The sheer diversity of missile types in service or being introduced, be they of US, Russian, EU, Israeli or Chinese origin, and the prospect of evolving regional clone variants and derivatives, presents a genuine long term problem in intelligence gathering, analysis and countermeasures library maintenance.

    Two key issues have arisen during this decade. The first is the large scale export of advanced variants of the Russian R-74, R-27 and R-77, arming MiG and Sukhoi fighters. These weapons are highly competitive against US and EU sourced AAMs operated by the RAAF, and can be expected to further evolve over time. With diverse mixes of seeker types in the BVR missiles, defending against them will present real challenges. A robust apporach will require investment in training, including simulation, tactics development, and adequate electronic and infrared countermeasures on RAAF aircraft. none of these considerations have been addressed to date in existing or planned RAAF aircraft.

    The second issue to arise is the future export of very long range 'AWACS killer' missiles, which are the poor man's equaliser against an opponent with an advantage in AEW&C capabilities. Much of the current force structure plan is predicated on the RAAF holding an assymetric advantage in AEW&C capability over any opponent, indefinitely. Missiles such as the R-172 and R-37 allow any Sukhoi operator to threaten an opposing AEW&C aircraft from a safe distance.

    There can be no doubt that a future RAAF force structure will have to be planned around missile capabilities now developing across the region, and compromises are simply not an option in the long term.

    [​IMG]
    PLA-AF and PLA-N AAMs
    LETRI “PL-13” “Sino-Meteor”
    [​IMG]

    In 2008 an image appeared on the Chinese internet showing a solid ramjet powered AAM evidently based on the existing PL-12 design. The status of this design is not clear. Conceptually it is closest to the MBDA Meteor AAM planned for the Royal Air Force.

    If such a missile is in development it would likely be similar in performance to the Meteor, which has exceptionally high endgame lethality due to the increased sustained G capability arising from persistent engine thrust, compared to conventional single and dual pulse rocket AAMs.
    [​IMG]

    MBDA Meteor (MBDA).
    LETRI SD-10/PL-12 “Sino-AMRAAM”


    [​IMG]

    China's indigenous equivalent to the AMRAAM is the PL-12/SD-10, claimed to use the seeker and other components from the Russian R-77 AMRAAM-ski. Credited with competitive performance against the AMRAAM, the PL-12 is expected to be deployed on the Su-27, Su-30, J-10 (image © 2009, Zhenguan Studio).
     
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  3. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    While some confusion remains about designations, most sources identify the SD-10 and PL-12 as the same missile, China's equivalent to the AMRAAM. This weapon is in sizing and configuration very similar to the AIM-120A, but employs a unique tail planform. Equipped with an active radar seeker, and datalink aided inertial midcourse guidance, this missile is a credible player against the AMRAAM and R-77 series. The indigenous AMR-1 active seeker is identified with the PL-12, and numerous reports exist claiming that it is a derivative of the Russian Agat 9B-1348E seeker package used in the R-77 series. The missile is widely credited with superior range performance to the AIM-120A-C variants.
     
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  4. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    The production status of the PL-12 is unclear, but the missile has been claimed as a future weapon for the indigenous J-10 fighter and the Su-27SK and Su-30, replacing imported R-77s on the latter. The missile has been photographed on the J-10A, J-10S and J-11B.

    A variant with an all aspect infrared seeker may exist, analogous to Russian heatseeking variants of the R-27 / AA-10 Alamo and R-77 / AA-12 Adder.

    There is little doubt that the PL-12 closes most of the technology gap between Chinese built BVR missiles, and in service Western BVR missiles.

    [​IMG]

    Luoyang PL-12/SD-10A JF-17 display, exported to Pakistan (image © 2010 Air Power Australia, via Zhenguan Studio).

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Above, below: Luoyang PL-12/SD-10A on JF-17 pylon launchers, exported to Pakistan (image © 2010 Air Power Australia, via Zhenguan Studio).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Radome of PL-12 / SD-10A on display at Zhuhai 2008 (image © 2009, Zhenguan Studio).
    [​IMG]Tail section of PL-12 / SD-10A on display at Zhuhai 2008 (image © 2009, Zhenguan Studio).

    [​IMG]

    PL-12 / SD-10A on display at Datangshan in 2010 (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    PL-12 / SD-10A being loaded on PLA-N J-8F Finback D fighter (Chinese Internet).
    [​IMG]

    Detail of RF proximity fuse antennas on PL-12 / SD-10A (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).
    [​IMG]

    Detail of RF proximity fuse antennas with protective covers fitted on PL-12 / SD-10A (Chinese Internet).

    Luoyang PL-ASR/PL-10 High Agility Close Combat Missile
    [​IMG]
    This illustration of the PL-ASR, also labelled the PL-10, emerged on a Chinese internet site during 2008. The weapon is claimed to include a Lock On After Launch (LOAL) capability, suggesting a high performance strapdown inertial midcourse package in the guidance section. The design includes coupled TVC vanes and tail controls to permit over the shoulder shots, intended for use with a Helmet Mounted Sight or Display. Conceptually the missile appears closest to the joint South African - Brazilian Denel A-Darter.

    [​IMG]

    Denel A-Darter Cutaway (Denel).
    SAST PL-11/FD-60 Aspide
     
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  7. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    SAST PL-11/FD-60 Aspide
    [​IMG]

    The PL-11 was the first Chinese built radar guided AAM to be deployed in large numbers. The design is a direct derivative of the monopulse semi-active homing Aspide Mk.1 carried by Italian F-104S Starfighters, both of the latter systems now retired.

    The PL-11 is derived from a licenced copy of the Selenia Aspide, itself an improved variant of the AIM-7E Sparrow. China had initially experimented with cloning the AIM-7B as the Luoyang PL-4, with a heatseeking and semi-active radar variant planned. This project was abandoned during the 1980s, in favour of the improved PL-10, itself abandoned later in favour of the licenced Aspide, the latter having the advantage of a jam resistant monopulse seeker.

    While it is known that Selenia withdrew support for the Aspide licence following 1989, the PL-11 was nevertheless deployed in the 1990s, on the indigenous J-8B Finback. Three variants are cited, the basic semi-active homing PL-11 equivalent to an Aspide Mk.1, the improved PL-11A with more range and a midcourse inertial unit permitting terminal phase only illumination, and the PL-11B or PL-11AMR, claimed to be equipped with an active radar seeker and equivalent to the defunct UK BAe Active Skyflash or Aspide Mk.2 - both AIM-7 derivatives.

    The export variant is designated the FD-60.

    [​IMG]

    PL-11 Aspide.

    [​IMG]
    AMR-1 monopulse active radar homing seeker developed for the PL-11B.
    Luoyang PL-9


    [​IMG]

    The PL-9 was introduced during the 1990s, and is a separate evolution of the PL-5 series, with capabilities similar to the AIM-9L/M (image © 2009, Zhenguan Studio).
    The PL-9 is conceptually closest to the AIM-9P and appears to be an evolution of the PL-5 series missile, although Chinese sources claim the missile outperforms the AIM-9L/M. Production status of this missile remains unclear.



    [​IMG]



    Detail of the PL-9C displayed at Zhuhai 2008 (image © 2009, Zhenguan Studio).
    [​IMG]

    Luoyang PL-8 / Rafael Python 3
     
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  8. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Luoyang PL-8 / Rafael Python 3
    [paste:font size="4"][​IMG]
    PL-8 Python 3 and PL-11 Aspide AAMs carried by a Chengdu J-10S Vigourous Dragon of the PLA-AF (Chinese internet image).

    The PL-8 is a legally licenced copy of the Israeli Rafael Python 3 WVR missile, the predecessor to the widely exported and highly agile Python 4. Production of the PL-8 commenced during the late 1980s, five years after initial negotiations, the weapon has been integrated on a wide range of aircraft, including the J-7E Fishbed, J-8B/D Finback and new J-10 and J-11B. Comparable to the AIM-9L in basic performance, the PL-8 is an all aspect WVR missile designed for close combat, and credited with a 35 G capability. Chinese sources claim it has been integrated with a helmet mounted sight.

    The Python 3 is credited with between 35 and 50 kills during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon.

    [​IMG]

    PL-8 on display at Datangshan in 2010 (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).[​IMG]
    PL-8 seeker window. This example appears to be a training round and may not use authentic window materials, the grey colour suggests the use of a Magnesium Fluoride glass for all aspect 4 micron band operation (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).
    [​IMG]

    PL-8 canard controls and laser proximity fuse windows (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).

    [​IMG]

    PL-8 tail section. The roll stabilisers are concealed by protective covers (Zhenguan Studio, © 2010, Air Power Australia).


    [​IMG]

    Shenyang J-11B Sino-Flanker with a single PL-8 AAM under the wing. The best indigenous WVR missile in Chinese service is the all aspect PL-8, comparable to the AIM-9M. This weapon is based on a licenced Rafael Python 3 missile.

    [​IMG]

    The PL-8 is frequently carried by the large J-8-II Finback interceptor.[​IMG]

    Rafael Python 3 AAM. The PL-8 is a licenced Python 3. The design has, compared to the AIM-9, long span wings, also with ram driven roll stabilisers (FAB).
    The Sleeping Giant Awakens (PLA-AF/PLA-N)



    Imagery Sources: Xinhua; PLA-AF; MilitaryPhotos.net; other Internet sources.

    Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0802


    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-PLA-AAM.html

     
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  9. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is the comparable BVR missile in IAF with that of PAF and PLAF SD 10 ?



    @gadeshi
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  10. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    I think our future Astra Mk1 and Astra Mk2 will be comparable to PL-10 and PL-12. Mk1 will be introduced this year in Air Force and Mk2 will be inducted in next 1-2 years.
     
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  11. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    SD 10A is superior to Astra.

    Astra 80km

    SD 10A 80 - 100 KM
     
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  12. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    No doubt, but we have enough speed and tech to make such missile by end of the decade and probably comparable to AIM-120 in start of next decade.
     
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