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HQ-61 Development

According to the air defense requirement of the Navy, the CMC decided to modify Hongqi-61 ground-to-air missile into ship-to-air missile and let Shanghai No.2 Bureau of Machinery and Electronics be responsible for the development in 1967. In May 1970, the Navy, the No.7 Academy of the 6th Ministry of Machine Building and the Shanghai No.2 Bureau of Machinery and Electronics finalized the ship borne concept, coordinated interface relations between missile system and ship borne equipment and started the development work of Hongqi-61 ship-to-air missile. 12 institutes, 11 factories, 2 testing bases and the relevant associated organizations undertook the development of the weapon system. Hongqi-61 ship-to-air missile weapon system consists of missile, tracking illuminating radar, shooting commander, missile storage, launcher, launching control desk and all kinds of technical guarantee and assistance equipment; it had the characteristics of good maneuverability, high hitting accuracy, high killing probability and easy maintainability. At the front and rear of the frigate, each set of launching facility was equipped. Each weapon system operates independently, which helps the ship realize all direction defense and attack two intruding targets simultaneously.

When the ship-to-air missile is equipped on the ship for a long time, its operational and application environment conditions are very harsh and complicated, for example, the temperature and humidity changes, salt corrosion of parts and components, the effects of swinging, vibration and noise of the ship to the missile launching and the affects of missile launching to the shipborne equipment and the personnel etc. should all be considered. The development and test of ship-to-air missile, therefore, was more complicated and had higher requirements than that of the ground-to-air missile.

In order to meet the operational requirement on the ship, the tracking illuminating radar consisted of single pulse tracking radar with centimeter wave length and continuous wave illuminating transmitter with centimeter wave length. The antenna platform and anti-corrosion measures were incorporated as well. The main machine of the shooting commander was a set of special digital computer, equipped with A-to-D and D-to-A converter. Anti-corrosion and stability measures were also adopted. Missile storage was vertical rotating structure. The launcher was double connection fitting, driven by hydraulic system with longitudinal and transverse stability, with which the missile could be launched at any time during sailing. The launching control desk was used for missile pre-launching inspection and pre-setting. All technical guarantee equipment was designed according to the operational requirement of ship-to-air missile.

The Hongqi-61 missile weapon system was technically complicated. The technical difficulty was further increased when it was modified into ship-to-air missile. Because of these and the interference of " The Great Cultural Revolution" , the development and test had suffered tortuous experiences and lasted for a much longer time. The test of Hongqi-61 ship-to-air missile was carried out according to the principle of land first and sea second. Before 1970, the ground flight tests were conducted by dummy missile and independent loop missile, and two times of modification on missile body design were carried out according to the -problems discovered in the test. In September 1970, flight test of independent loop remote measuring missile with the modified condition was conducted and new problems like reduced flying speed of the missile was discovered.

The ground-to-air missile testing base had done a great deal of work on ground test. They not only accomplished all kinds of flight test tasks, but also brought forward proposals and measures for solving the problems incurred during the flight. For example, as for the problem that missile was broken up in the air, which was caused by coming out of the tail fin in the flight, after study of which, the base technical personnel pointed out that the problem was caused by wrong connection of polarity of the test stand. Chang Yanru put forward a proposal for solving engine jet pipe burning according to the result of flight test. After analysis and calculation, Deputy Chief of Staff, Deng Changjin adjusted the gravity of radar No.381 parachuted target and enabled the parachuted target, which failed with many flights, to fly successfully.

In 1973, considering the problems discovered during the test, Shanghai No.2 Bureau of Machinery and Electronics organized scientific personnel to conduct modification designs on missile body structure and solid propellant rocket engine etc., and soon afterwards they tackled some major technical critical problems like large rolling at high altitude, zero drift of hydraulic amplifier and elastic vibration. Meanwhile, transistor circuit and miniature semi-liquid floating gyro accelerator were incorporated in the autopilot system, anti-salty-fog and stability measures were adopted in the weapon system. In the period of March and April 1975, 4 flight tests of independent loop remote measuring missile had been conducted with complete success at the ground-to-air missile testing base. In 1976, integration of all items of weapon system on the ground, integration test of homing head with radar, test of homing head acquisition of aircraft target had been also successfully conducted, which proved that the design concept was reasonable.

In December 1976, the 3 tests, which included missile launching, Weapon system tracking parachuted target and closed loop remote measuring missile shooting parachuted target were conducted by Hongqi-61 missile on the missile frigate, in order to further check the performance of the ship-borne guidance equipment and missile-borne homing head and the guidance accuracy of the guidance system, to measure missile motion data on the launcher and missile initial dispersion, to test operation reliability of the launcher and to measure noise and vibration at the ship surface during launching. The test lasted 45 days, the frigate sailed into sea 14 times, H-5 bomber took 13 sorties, 2 dummy missiles and 2 closed loop remote measuring missiles were launched. The 2 dummy missiles tests were successful, but the 2 closed loop remote measuring missiles missed the parachuted target. This test was the first one to be carried out on the ship with ship-to-air, missile. Although the test was not completely successful, it laid a foundation for the later target shooting test at the sea.

In 1978, three-channel semi-actual object simulated target shooting test was carried out at Liaoxi missile testing field. The missile system was formed by the combination of partial math model with partial actual equipment. The target simulator was used as actual target and more than 400 effective and accurate measurements were carried out on 9 trajectories with more than 80 different conditions. Large amount of test data were obtained, which verified that the missile system had good quality. Meanwhile, shooting test of closed loop remote measuring missile against type 381 parachuted target was carried out at the ground-to-air missile testing base to check the coordination and reliability of the weapon system, the function principle of homing head and guiding accuracy. During the test, the first round was unsuccessful and the second round hit the target, guidance radar and other equipment worked normally and the test reached the expected goal.

In August 1978, in order to strengthen technology responsibility of missile research and development, designers system was set up. Wu Zhongying, Liang Jincai were appointed Chief Designers, Mao Zongwei, Xie Genqing, Xie Xianzhang were Deputy Chief Designers.

Target shooting test of Hongqi-61 operation missile was carried out on the missile frigate at the end of 1980, the missile fuse did not work. In Spring 1981, test was carried out again at the ground-to-air missile testing base, the serious problem of early explosion of the fuse occurred twice. The fuse, therefore, had become the critical item of whether the missile could obtain the certification. In Feb., 1981, Shanghai No.2 Bureau of Machinery and Electronics decided to let Deputy Director Wang Deyu and Li Xiaohang be in charge of tackling the fuse problem. The fuse problem tackling group consisted of Liang Jincai and Mu Hong. They found the reasons which caused failures through analysis and study, proposed 3 concepts of large, medium and small schemes of modification for solving the problem of the fuse early action. The flying over the fuse tests were conducted at the same time with the prototypes of three concepts and good concepts and good results were obtained. After comparison, the fuse concept mainly with the medium scheme of modification integrated by medium and small schemes of modifications were adopted, it further improved fuse performance of anti-early explosion. Finally they successfully developed compound fuse, with which it not only had the merits of both guidance fuse and directional fuse, but also overcame their shortcomings. Therefore the problem of fuse early action was solved. In order to guarantee the quality of the missile weapon system, Shanghai Space Bureau (original Shanghai No.2 Bureau of Machinery and Electronics) had organized the work of trouble shooting and quality improvement starting from March 1983. Relevant measures were taken to solve 410 problems and malfunctions which had been discovered during quality rectification. All the problems existed were solved in a better way.

In November 1984, shooting test of Hongqi-61 remote measuring operational missile against Changkong-1 aircraft target was conducted at the ground-to-air missile testing base, during which two missiles were launched and two targets were shot down.

The design certification test of Hongqi-61 missile was carried out on ship at sea from November to December 1986. The missiles were launched from the ship against the guided targets and aircraft targets of the different air zones. All together 5 Haiying-1 guided targets and 2 Changkong-1 high altitude aircraft targets were shot down. The tests were successfully performed. In November 1988, the State Council and the Military Product Certification Committee of the CMC approved the design certification of Hongqi-61 missile.

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