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PL-11 / AMR-1

China initially tried to address its beyond visual range [BVR] needs by reverse-engineering the semiactive AIM-7 Sparrow, in a program designated PL-10. This effort proved unsuccessful. China then purchased around 100 Aspide missiles from Italy--the eventual intent being the license-manufacture of the missile, to be known as PL-11. This deal collapsed as a result of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The AMR-1 is an advanced next-generation medium-range active terminal guidance air-to-air missile seeker developed by China's Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute. The flat-plate antenna bears some resemblance to that of active version of Russian AA-10, although the extent of Russian assistance if any is unclear. The seeker may be integrated onto PL-11 [Pili = Thunderbolt, or Pen Lung = Air Dragon] air-to-air missile which is reportedly based on the Italian Aspide airframe. The seeker is equipped with a miniaturized pulse Doppler radar and has the following capabilities: all- weather and omnibearing attack, low- latitude down-firing, fire-and-forget beyond-the-horizon launch, and interception and tracking of target in complicated electronic interference environments. Its technical sophistication is close to that of the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile, AMRAAM and Russia's P-77 "fire-and-forget" missile which has caught worldwide interest. However, an insufficient military budget and low-price competition from Russian missiles have cast batch production of this missile into doubt.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:37:51 ZULU