Chinese AAM


Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Hui Tong now calls the PL-17 PL-20 -
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
Frankly I think the designations for all of these "new" BVR missiles are going to be all over the place for the next little while.

In terms of new/upcoming BVR AAMs that have been either confirmed/rumoured:
- PL-X/PL-17/PL-20, which is the VLRAAM seen carried previously on J-16 and now on JH-7/A, whose existence is basically confirmed but whose designation is not.
- PL-20/smaller size BVRAAM for J-20, which is the BVR AAM mentioned by the likes of yankee and so on in the past that J-20 is meant to carry six of.
- PL-21/ramjet BVRAAM, which is of course the ramjet BVR AAM similar in concept to meteor that has been rumoured on and off for the last decade.

IMO the designation of all of these missiles are all still up in the air at present.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
It could also be that ramjet missile and more compact missile for j20 will turn out to be one and the same.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
maybe JH-7A lacks the communication equipment for the CeC data?
Except -- do we have a reason to believe that?

If we accept that this is missile is a VLRAAM and that it requires CeC to field it, then if we see it equipped on a certain type of fighter -- what is the more logical conclusion:
A: the fighter equipped with it has the requisite CEC capability to field it.
B: the missile carried on the fighter actually is intended to field some other completely additional role outside of what was previously under consensus to have (in this case, air to ground), for some kind of reason (such as the fighter not having the CeC capability).

IMO the overwhelmingly far more likely conclusion is A.

The only reason B would be more likely is if someone believed that the aircraft in question was not appropriate to have a high end VLRAAM capability. In the case of JH-7/A, I don't see why it would be considered an inappropriate aircraft to field a high end VLRAAM capability -- if anything among the PLA's various types of aircraft, I think JH-7/A should've been one of the more obvious potential candidates for this missile. The only reason the idea of a JH-7/A carrying a VLRAAM seems a bit strange imo, is because the aircraft has been more strongly oriented for the A2G role in the past and not integrated with a BVR capability in the past, therefore the idea of it having a high end BVR capability now seems confounding.

As I wrote in my previous post... by nature this PL-X missile should theoretically be able to be fielded by a variety of different aircraft types even if -- actually no, especially if -- the carrier aircraft itself does not really have a strong organic sensor capability, as it would only require the CeC capability and physical compatibility.

In other words, IMO there should have been an expectation for PL-X to be a missile with potential capability to be fielded across a variety of different platforms.
 

vultee

Just Hatched
Registered Member
This reminds me of the Russian proposed Novator KS-172 missile which was supposed to be based on Buk SA missiles.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

It makes great sense since the Chinese already had the Buk technology and this way they can more or less easily make a long range air-to-air missile. I suspect they use the JH-7/A simply because it is more available. The J-16s are immediately put into front line duty I expect this missile to eventually be available on the J-16 platform mainly and for it to replace the JH-7/A in the long term.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
This reminds me of the Russian proposed Novator KS-172 missile which was supposed to be based on Buk SA missiles.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

It makes great sense since the Chinese already had the Buk technology and this way they can more or less easily make a long range air-to-air missile. I suspect they use the JH-7/A simply because it is more available. The J-16s are immediately put into front line duty I expect this missile to eventually be available on the J-16 platform mainly and for it to replace the JH-7/A in the long term.
In terms of concept PL-X is not exceptionally dissimilar from KS-172 in that they are both VLRAAMs, however PL-X seems a bit smaller and there is probably no actual relationship between the two missiles.

As far as J-16 -- this missile was first seen tested on J-16 years ago, so chances are it was/will be the primary platform to field it first.


It makes sense to field it on J-16 first of all, as this is after all a high end capability to begin with and it makes sense to give it to your more capable aircraft first, before rolling it down to your other platforms who are also compatible with it.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Another thing to keep in mind, which applies to ALL long range anti air missiles, be they surface launched or air launched, is tracking. The targets, naturally, need to be tracked. But also the missiles themselves need to be tracked. And then that tracking data must be used so the missile is getting mid-course corrections. That's the only way to ensure true precision over long ranges.

And best tracking results are achieved with X band radars. S bands and up are generally less fit for tracking. E2D is sometimes mentioned as possible platform for target tracking and then handing over data to missiles. Sure, it can do that. But it's not AS GOOD of a tracking platform as an X band radar would be. Heck, with its UHF band, it's not nearly as good of a platform as a S band radar would be. If it was, we'd see pretty much all long range SAMs switch to such bands. But they're generally using X bands, occasionally C bands and sometimes, as a further compromise, S bands. (like on ships where a single radar is forced to do both long range early warning scans and target tracks)

Now, there are developments that help mitigate some of the above. Larger missiles can fit larger and more powerful radar seekers. Which may enable them to lock onto the targets themselves from fairly long distances. Which then means super precise tracking by third party platforms may not be as crucial. Furthermore, tracking of own missiles may be done, instead via radar, via GPS and datalinks, where the missile determines own location in real time, basically it tracks itself, and sends its location via datalink to a platform which can then facilitate updated course correction data to be sent to it.

In any case, a robust system would need multiple tracking radars, be they on the ground or in the air, and multiple course correction emitter platforms. (Most probably the two would be the same platform, really) And a satellite navigation network would need to be up and running at all times. Without satnav tracking, using various S band radars would likely not work over long ranges. So X band radars would have to be used.

And then there's the question of numbers. Using S bands probably means awacs planes or other large planes. Those are far readily available in numbers. On the other hand, X bands are readily available on fighters in large numbers. Especially if a large fighter jet can afford a powerful radar, scanning everything in its view cone to 300-400 km away.

Anyway, I fully believe shared network targeting is coming to war theaters very soon, and in some ways it's already starting to be fielded.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Another thing to keep in mind, which applies to ALL long range anti air missiles, be they surface launched or air launched, is tracking. The targets, naturally, need to be tracked. But also the missiles themselves need to be tracked. And then that tracking data must be used so the missile is getting mid-course corrections. That's the only way to ensure true precision over long ranges.

And best tracking results are achieved with X band radars. S bands and up are generally less fit for tracking. E2D is sometimes mentioned as possible platform for target tracking and then handing over data to missiles. Sure, it can do that. But it's not AS GOOD of a tracking platform as an X band radar would be. Heck, with its UHF band, it's not nearly as good of a platform as a S band radar would be. If it was, we'd see pretty much all long range SAMs switch to such bands. But they're generally using X bands, occasionally C bands and sometimes, as a further compromise, S bands. (like on ships where a single radar is forced to do both long range early warning scans and target tracks)

Now, there are developments that help mitigate some of the above. Larger missiles can fit larger and more powerful radar seekers. Which may enable them to lock onto the targets themselves from fairly long distances. Which then means super precise tracking by third party platforms may not be as crucial. Furthermore, tracking of own missiles may be done, instead via radar, via GPS and datalinks, where the missile determines own location in real time, basically it tracks itself, and sends its location via datalink to a platform which can then facilitate updated course correction data to be sent to it.

In any case, a robust system would need multiple tracking radars, be they on the ground or in the air, and multiple course correction emitter platforms. (Most probably the two would be the same platform, really) And a satellite navigation network would need to be up and running at all times. Without satnav tracking, using various S band radars would likely not work over long ranges. So X band radars would have to be used.

And then there's the question of numbers. Using S bands probably means awacs planes or other large planes. Those are far readily available in numbers. On the other hand, X bands are readily available on fighters in large numbers. Especially if a large fighter jet can afford a powerful radar, scanning everything in its view cone to 300-400 km away.

Anyway, I fully believe shared network targeting is coming to war theaters very soon, and in some ways it's already starting to be fielded.

Naval ships use onboard S band radars to guide their long range active radar homing missiles, I don't think there's anything particularly difficult to believe that AEW&C would be incapable of using their radars to provide fire solution to VLRAAMs.

Additionally, the soon to be contemporary networked air to air warfighting environment will likely seek to bring together AEW&C and/or friendly fighter sensor pictures and/or advanced UAVs to form a sensor picture to provide a fire solution.

In other words, I don't think we have any reason to doubt the idea that PL-X will be dependent on advanced CeC capabilities to fulfill its role as a VLRAAM, especially seeing as the original paper also describes it as so.


Going back to the JH-7/A matter, I think it's pretty fair to say that there's no real reason to doubt JH-7/A as a carrier for a VLRAAM like PL-X, if we accept the likelihood that it has the requisite datalinking capability.
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

提问:所谓PL-20的A射B导,是不是战机发射后,预警机导引?

回答:显然千20导。

提问:千20的雷达太远开机导引,不会破坏隐身吗?

回答:千20的雷达肯定有低可截获探测模式,N秒扫一次,通过数据链把数据刷新给导弹,导弹在进入目标20公里左右,主动雷达导引头开机扫描锁定,后面就它啥事情了。

提问:低截获模式不是靠消除旁瓣么?怎么是N秒一次?

回答:消旁瓣只是其中一种技术,还有扩频压缩峰值,还有高速扫描等等方式降低被敌方电子设备截获的概率。这里打个比方,就是你拿着电筒一直点亮,人很快就知道你的存在了,你要是两秒钟亮0.1秒,人就把你当噪声过滤了。但是你还是能确认敌人的位置。
Post from Weibo claims that PL-20 can be guided by J-20's radar in LPI mode following launch by another aircraft.
 
Last edited:

Top