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HQ-9 / FT-2000

The the [yet-to-be-deployed] HQ-9 is a program to develop a new long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM). The HQ-9 development effort may be based on a Chinese-designed missile motor, search and guidance hardware based on the Russian S-300PMU, and guidance technology from the American Patriot. China purchased four to six S-300PMU batteries (48 to 72 missiles) in 1991 and purchased an additional 120 missiles in 1994. In 1993 it was alleged that Israel had transferred a Patriot missile or missile technology to China, though Israel denied the charges. In 1997 the US Office of Naval Intelligence suggested that "technology from advanced Western systems may be incorporated into the HQ-9." A naval version of HQ-9 could be installed on the Luhai-class destroyers if the HQ-9 enters service. However, China is said to have encountered difficulties with the associated radar system, and it is unclear whether the PLA is currently funding this program.

The FT-2000 surface-to-air anti-radiation missile is the first large surface-to-air anti-radiation missile in the world. It is said to be based on a marriage of the SA-10 and the US Patriot track-via-missile seeker. While the association of the HQ-9 and the FT-2000 remains unclear, the two programs appear to share remarkably similar development histories, and the FT-2000 capabilities are consistent with the employment of the HQ-9 missile without the evidently problematic tracking radar. Its broadband passive radar target seeker can detect the electromagnetic emmanations from the adversary early warning and electronic jamming planes and shoot them down by tracing signals. Since the missile has a passive homing system which does not transmit electromagnetic waves, the possibility of being discovered by the enemy is greatly minimized. Its 12-100 kilometer slant range also ensures that it can strike at long range. The FT-2000 has become the focus of attention in Taiwan, given the concern that this missile will pose a serious threat to Taiwan's US-made E-2T early warning planes.

The missile associated with the FT-2000 is probably similar to the HQ-9 in size but may be somewhat slower. Its maximum range reportedly is about 100 km, with a maximum altitude of approximately 20 km. A complete FT-2000 battalion probably would consist of a command platoon and three batteries. Sales brochure acquired at Farnborough dubbed the FT-2000 an "AWACS killer." The FT-2000 could be deployed as a stand-alone air defense system or deployed as part of another system. Although Beijing has stated publicly that the FT-2000 will be available for foreign export around the year 2001, it is more likely that it will not be available until the second half of the decade. If a foreign customer cannot be found, development could take longer or not occur at all.


Entered Service
Total length 6.8 m
Diameter 0.47 m
Weight 1300 kg
Warhead Weight
Propulsion Solid rocket booster
Maximum Speed
Operating altitude 3 - 20 km
Operating range 12 - 100 km
Guidance mode Passive Radar Homing
Single-shot hit probability

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Updated Friday, June 23, 2000 2:29:05 PM