Some questions about the HQ-17 short range SAM:
1. Some websites claim that the HQ-17A wheeled version carries 16 missiles while the HQ-17 tracked version only carries 8. Is that true? I find it hard to believe given their small size difference
2. For both the wheeled HQ-17A and tracked HQ-17, do the missiles extend beyond the top cab with the radars?
I was under the impression that the top cab can spin around to direct its front tracking radar, but seeing the length of the missile in this photo, it seems impossible not to extend into the vehicle itself
Yes, the missile does extend into the vehicle itself. Pay attention to the missile containers in loading. The number of missiles is restricted by the width of the turret basket due to the need of fitting the rear part of the missile into the vehicle.
As for the HQ-17A having 16 missiles instead of 8, I did read some news/ rumors (closer to rumors I say) about Russian Tor getting new and more compact missiles that increases its missile capacity from 8 to 16. Since HQ-17 and its development is a branch of Russian Tor, maybe that's where the claim comes from?