In keeping with its complete modernization effort and expansion of capabilities, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has invested heavily in air defense / deterrence measures that include solutions such as the HQ-16 mobile SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) launcher. The vehicle can use its triple missile pack to engage aerial targets at medium-range / medium-altitudes ensuring protection of accompanying ground force or key installations. The system was developed by the engineers at the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) and has been in active service since 2011 - China being the primary operator of the system today (2022).
The HQ-16 series is thought to pull inspiration from the Soviet-Russian "Buk" SAM systems still in use today.
The missile carries a rocket motor with solid fuel propellant, fits a 155lb warhead, and tips the scales as a complete system at 1,435lb. Detonation is through either impact or proximity as needed, ensuring total destruction of the unfortunate target. The missile can reach targets as far out as 25 miles up to altitudes of 60,000 feet while achieving straight-line speeds in excess of Mach 3. A semi-active radar homing capability is in-built and used to reach the target.
When made ready-to-fire, the launcher lowers to erect the triple-missile tubes vertically. The system's versatility is such that the missile can be launched form land-based or sea-based platforms.
The locally-produced Taian TA5350 6x6 wheeled vehicle serves as the launch / host platform and gives the missile battlefield mobility through a powerful drivetrain, large road wheels, and cross-country support. The crew cab sits over the front end of the truck with bow overhand ahead of the first axle. The remaining two axles support the rear of the vehicle. An additional cabin structure is set behind the driver's compartment and houses the operating system. The chassis is multi-faceted and available in various configurations including 10x10, 12x12, 14x14, and 16x16 wheeled arrangements. The Taian Special Vehicle Company manufactures the truck which is powered by a single Deutz turbocharged diesel unit of 517 horsepower giving it a range out to 500 miles and a road speed equal to 50 mph.
The HQ-16 signifies the base missile/vehicle model with ship-borne functionality. This model is exported under the HQ_16E/LY-80N designations. The HQ-16A is the land-based version and given an engagement range of 40 kilometers. It is exported under the HQ-16AE/LY-80 designations. The HQ-16B is another land-based version but improved to engage out to 70 kilometers. It is exported as HQ-16BE/LY-80.
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Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) - China Manufacturer(s)
ANTI-AIRCRAFT / AIRSPACE DENIAL
Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.
Wheeled arrangement gives this system an inherent road-running capability, enhancing mobility particularly on paved roads.
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
39.4 ft (12 meters) Length
9.8 ft (3 meters) Width
11.8 ft (3.6 meters) Height
66,139 lb (30,000 kg) Weight
33.1 tons (Medium-class) Tonnage
1 x Deutz turbocharged diesel-fueled engine developing 517 horsepower driving conventional all-wheel / 8x8 wheeled arrangement. Drive System
50 mph (80 kph) Road Speed
497 miles (800 km) Road Range
3 x HQ-16 surface-to-air missiles.
3 x HQ-16 surface-to-air missiles.
HQ-16 - Base Series Designation; naval variant of 40km range.
HQ-16E (LY-80N) - Export model of the HQ-16.
HQ-16A - Land-based model; range of 40km.
HQ-16AE (LY-80) - Export version of the HQ-16A.
HQ-16B - Land-based model of 2016; enhanced range of 70km.
HQ-16BE (LY-80) - Export model of the HQ-16B.
HQ-16C - Improved HQ-16B models.
HQ-26 - Navalized variant.
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Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.
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