The Type 625 system is primarily designed for low-altitude air threat defense, countering helicopters, low-flying aircraft.

The development of short-range air defense systems to engage low-altitude targets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has become a major focus of the Chinese military. Recent photos posted on Chinese social media on December 28, 2023, show significant progress in China’s military capabilities with the deployment of the Type 625, a new wheeled self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. Published information shows that the Type 625 is operating with the PLA’s 77th Army Group, Western Theater Command, demonstrating its capabilities in a live-fire exercise.

The Type 625 system is primarily designed for low-altitude air threat defense, countering helicopters, low-flying aircraft like Su-25s, and combat drones, addressing the increasing challenge posed by drones on the battlefield. It’s an integrated Anti-Aircraft Gun Missile System, combining a formidable 25mm anti-aircraft Gatling gun with a set of surface-to-air missile launchers. This system is mounted on an eight-wheeled tactical truck, enabling rapid deployment and versatility in various combat scenarios.

The SPAAG features a unique 6-barrel 25mm Gatling gun and four short-range surface-to-air missiles. Utilizing a 25mm ammunition technology alongside upgraded radar, computer systems, and data-link, this system presents a robust defense against aerial threats. Its effective range is up to 2.5 km with an altitude ceiling of 2 km. The cannon also serves a secondary role in ground combat, effective against light armored vehicles.

The Type 625E variant enhances its aerial defense capabilities with 4 x FN-16 air-defense missiles. Primarily designed for battlefield air defense, these missiles specialize in intercepting low-altitude and ultra-low-altitude air targets. The FN-16 boasts a maximum range of 6 km and can perform an 18 g turn, indicating high maneuverability and precision.

A radar can also be seen extending up from behind the missile system in some photos taken of the Type 625E. This device, while unnamed, will likely supplement the system’s anti-aircraft role by allowing operators to detect and track low-flying aircraft like drones, helicopters, and cruise missiles before engaging. In a promotional video for Type 625E and other Chinese combat vehicles, the system can be seen engaging multiple drones at once through an infrared camera feed, which concurrently suggests that infrared optical sensors equip Type 625E as well.

Drones especially are expected to be a major factor in future conflicts, as has been proven on multiple occasions throughout the war in Ukraine, and both China and Taiwan are making notable advancements in this area. The system’s designation is Type 625E, suggesting that this is a product intended for the export market. This system is similar in concept to Russia’s Pantsir family of systems, which combines anti-aircraft guns with short-range air defense missiles.

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