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Medium-range air defense missile system


The HQ-16 is a Chinese equivalent of the Russian Buk

Entered service ?
Missile length 5 m
Missile diameter 0.34 m
Missile weight 615 kg
Warhead weight ?
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Maximum range of fire 40 km
Maximum altitude of fire 18 km
Number of targets engaged simultaneously ?


   The Hong Qi 16 or HQ-16 is a Chinese medium-range air defense missile system. It is based on the Soviet Shtil naval air defense system, which in turn is a version of the Buk. So the HQ-16 can be seen as a Chinese improved equivalent of the Buk. Some sources report that is had been adopted in the mid 1990s. Currently the HQ-16 is being widely used by the Chinese armed forces.

   Even though HQ-16 uses Buk technology, it has some significant differences. Launchers of the Chinese SAM system are based on 6x6 high mobility truck rather than a tracked chassis. However radar is carried by another truck. Missiles are store in containers and are launched vertically.

   In Chinese armed forces the HQ-16 fits the gap between the short-range HQ-7 and medium- to long rande HQ-9. This air defense system is mainly used to protect stationary assets such as airfields, command posts, concentration of troops, bridges, and other important targets.

   Missile of the HQ-16 evolved from the Soviet 9M38 missile, used by the Buk. However the Chinese missile is more capable than its predecessor.

   The HQ-16 has a maximum range against aircraft of 40 km. It can engage cruise missiles at a range of 3.5 to 18 km. This air defense system can engage very low flying and high altitude targets. It can reach targets at an altitude of up to 18 km. Claimed hit probability of an aircraft with a single missile is 85%. Hit probability of a cruise missile is 60%.

   The HQ-16 launcher is based on Taian TA5350 6x6 special wheeled chassis. The TEL carries 6 containers with missiles. Missiles are launcher vertically. Two missiles can be launched within a short period of time.

   A battery of the HQ-16 consists of four launcher vehicles, command post, two radar vehicles, missile transport and reloading vehicles, power supply vehicles and so on. Most of them are based on the same 6x6 high mobility chassis.

   The radar detects enemy aircraft at a range of 140 km and altitude of 20 km. The radar can detect up to 144 and track up to 48 targets simultaneously.




   HQ-16A is an improved version that uses improved missile with slightly better performance;

   LY-80 is an export version of the HQ-16A. It incorporates cold vertical launch method. It was first presented and is being proposed since 2011;

   HQ-16B is a further improved version.






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