The HQ-7 is classified as a short-range low altitude air defense missile, deployed on both warships and land-based vehicles.
Although the world is paying attention to the development of long-range air defense systems, recent developments in Syria and Iraq have shown the important role of Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) on the modern battlefield. China has been paying attention to this issue for a long time. Since the 1980s the Chinese have been developing a short-range air defense missile system, the HongQi 7 (HQ-7) – a reverse engineered copy of the French Crotale.
The HQ-7 is classified as a short-range low altitude air defense missile, deployed on both warships and land-based vehicles. Its export version, the FM-80, was introduced at the 1989 Dubai Air Show. Unit cost is around $162,000 per launcher and $24,500 per missile.
The HQ-7 missile features a long, slim body with sharp nose, four stabilisation fins, and four front canards. The missile has multi-target interception capabilities to engage targets from same or different directions. 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. The missile is armed with a high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead, initiated by with a proximity fuse.
A battery consists of one vehicle with acquisition radar and two or three TELAR vehicles. Each battery is supported by a maintenance group with around 10 support vehicles. The acquisition radar is based on the same 4×4 chassis. It detects targets at a range of up to 18.4 km. Tracking range is 17 km. It can detect up to 30 targets and track up to 12 targets simultaneously.