Today the Chinese Navy is integrating the HHQ-10 short-range air defense missile system onto all of its most advanced surface warships.

First announced publicly in 2008 and in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy since 2012, the HHQ-10 or Hai Hong Qi-10, is a short-range surface-to-air missile designed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, serves as a point defense missile system.

The HHQ-10 is fitted onto various recent classes of ship operated by the PLA Navy. These range from Type-056 corvettes to various destroyers to aircraft carriers. For export the HHQ-10 is available as the FL-3000N, which has been exported to Bangladesh and Nigeria.

The HHQ-10 is designed to organize the defense of surface ships of various classes in the near zone from massive attacks of low-flying cruise missiles, as well as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The system has several design commonalities with the US made RIM-116 RAM system, with a rectangular launcher sporting 24 sealed launch tubes. It rotates through 360 degrees, and the oscillating design allows for very high elevation and depression.

The launcher is designed to be customisable in terms of number of missiles carried. Possible different configurations include 8, 15, 18 and 24 missiles, which can be deployed on different warships based on size and suitability. It is claimed that the system can launch missiles in about 10 seconds. The Launching Unit is equipped with azimuth and angle guide drives and can be equipped with a reloader with a sub deck cellar. On ships of small displacement the recharging is performed manually.

The HHQ-10 is not a direct copy of the RIM-116 RAM system. It is based on the TY-90 imaging infrared and passive radar homing missile and has a larger rocket motor. Unlike its prototype, the missile has extended dimensions, increased range and is equipped with a combined guidance system, including passive radar and thermal homing heads. The guidance system is based on the radar interferometer with two antennas located at the nose of the missile. These antennas receive radio emissions from various systems of the attacking PCR.

The launcher is controlled by the ship’s combat management system. The HHQ-10 has no proprietary sensors and uses air search radar input to acquire targets. Reaction time is reported as 6 to 8 seconds. The system can operate in a fully autonomous mode and in the man-in-the-loop mode.

Each HQ-10 missile has a length of around 2 m and a width of around 0.12 m. The missile has a range of 9 km against subsonic targets and 6 km against supersonic targets, and a flight altitude as low as 1.5 meters. Each missile uses imaging infrared guidance and has a proximity fuse. Missiles with dual mode seeker feature additional passive radar homing. The solid propellant rocket motor allows for a maximum speed of over Mach 2.

The guidance system is said to be an advanced matrix imaging infrared seeker. However, it appears to have a pair of horn-like protrusions at the front of the missile which may indicate the existence of passive radar seekers or semi-active radar seekers.

The export version, the FL-3000N, although similar to the HQ-10, is not the same missile. There are some notable differences between the FL-3000N and the HQ-10. It has different missile fins which are triangular in shape compared to the rectangular fins of the HQ-10. The launchers come in the same 24 missile loadouts as the HQ-10, but its design is slightly different and missiles are differently arranged. The FL-3000N missile uses a combined guidance system that incorporates both imaging infrared guidance and millimeter wave radar guidance.

The fire control system of FL-3000N can simultaneously control two launchers, and can be integrated into other FCS on board ships. Alternatively, FL-3000N is also capable being directly controlled by other FCS on board ships. The system is usually fully automatic without human intervention, but manual operation can be inserted when needed.[3] An optional extra magazine with automated loading system is available for larger warships when there is enough space provided. On smaller surface combatants where space is limited, the extra magazine with the automated loading system is eliminated and the reload is done manually.

The HHQ-10 air defense system is currently deployed aboard various PLA Navy warships, such as the Type 056 corvettes, Type 054 frigates, Type 052D class destroyers, Type 055 class destroyers, Liaoning and Shandong aircraft carriers, and the Type 075 landing helicopter dock.

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