China’s new Type 625E system armed with missiles and a Gatling-style cannon, dubbed the “Drone Killer.”
Now UAVs have become a major threat of modern warfare. China’s new Type 625E system armed with missiles and a Gatling-style cannon, dubbed the “Drone Killer”, was developed to fill a gap in the country’s multi-layered air defense system. At the Zhuhai Air Show, the Type 625E made an impressive appearance with a heavily armed weapon system.
The air defense system is jointly developed by China South Industries Group Corporation and China North Industries Group Corporation or Norinco. Based on the revealed images, the Type 625E is a short range air defense system, or SHORAD. It is built as an 8×8 vehicle-mounted self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and surface-to-air missile system.
The main component is a sizeable Gatling-style cannon with a distinctive look, which according to Chinese media reports, is a six-barreled 25mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. There are also four canister anti-aircraft missiles on each side of the turret. Based on the general shape of the missile launcher, the missile system could be FB-10 short-range types, reportedly designed by the China Aerospace Long-March International company.
The FB-10 missile type reportedly has technical specifications that are equivalent to China’s Hongqi-10 (HQ-10) surface-to-air missile system intended for maritime environments. FB-10 was unveiled at the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow. The engagement range is 10 kilometers, and the engagement altitude is from 15 to 5,000 meters.
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.