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LY-60 / PL-10

In October 1994 the new medium-low-altitude surface-to-air missile system, the "Lieying (Falcon)-60," was deployed to China's air defense troops. The system is mainly intended for the interception of military aircraft and missiles flying in medium-low altitude. It a command control system with artificial interference capability thanks to the use of microprocessor intelligent module technology. This technology is not found on existing medium-low-altitude air defense missiles of other countries. The "Lieying-60" search radar can can simultaneously track up to 40 targets, and the tracking radar is able to simultaneously track 12 targets, and engage three targets at once. The use of the moving target tracking processing system and frequency agility technology also gives the system good anti-jamming capability.

The LY60N SAM is being deployed in place of the HQ61 SAM used in the Jiangwei-class frigates. Compared with the HQ61 with a range of 12 kilometers and maximum altitude of 10 kilometers, the LY60 has a range of 18 kilometers and reaches a maximum altitude of 12 kilometers. The LY60N is installed in Jiangwei B-class frigates that have recently been placed in service. Every launch system features a sextuple launchers and each launcher contains four LY60N missiles, for a total of 24 missiles. The wings of the LY60N are foldable. In comparison, the LY60 of the ground army version features a quadruple launchers, each of its launcher contains one missile, and its missile wing is not foldable.

The system will be adopted as the shipborne vertically-launched air defense system of the Chinese Navy's "Luhai"-class missile destroyers, with at least eight vertical launch barrels with a total of 32 missiles.

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 Air Force version of the LY-60 is the FD-60 semi-active radar-guided air-to-air missile carried by the J8B fighter plane, which is very similar to the Aspide AAM of Italy in appearance. This missile, which is evidently also known as the PL-10 [Pili = Thunderbolt, or Pen Lung = Air Dragon] medium range air-to-air missile is a Chinese copy of the Italian Aspide, which was developed from the American AIM-7E Sparrow. The bodies of the two missiles are generally similar, though the wings of the air-to-air PL-10 mirror those of the Sparrow, while the LY-60 wings have evidently been truncated to improve storage. The application of the same missile to both air-to-air and ship-to-air applications emulates the American practice with the Sparrow, which started life as an air-to-air missile with subsequent shipboard deployments.

In addition, the Shanghai Academy has also developed a portable ground-to-air version called the FY-60.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:45:40 ZULU