According to recent reports published by the Navy Recognition, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has replaced its old short-range air-defense SAM HQ-7 with the new and more advanced HQ-10 launcher on the Type 54 frigate Ma’anshan.
Type 054 is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates that were commissioned in the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2005. They superseded the Type 053H3 frigates.
Only two ships, Ma’anshan (525), and Wenzhou (526) were completed before production switched to the VLS-equipped improved Type 054A frigate.
Type 054 has a stealthy hull design with sloped surfaces, radar absorbent materials, and a reduced superstructure clutter.
The main anti-ship armament is YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles in two four-cell launchers. The short-range defense has four AK-630 CIWS turrets. A 100 mm main deck gun, based on a French design, is also mounted on the ship.
Both ships are powered by four CODAD Type 16 PA6 STC marine diesel engines designed by SEMT Pielstick, each generating 6,330 hp. Licenses for the engines were sold to China in April 2002, where they were built by the Shaanxi Diesel Engine Factory. Other reports claimed each ship was powered by two (or four) Type 16 PA STC and two MTU 20V 956TB92 diesels.
About the HQ-7 short-range low altitude air defense missile system
The HQ-7 (FM-80) is a Chinese short-range low-altitude air defense missile reverse engineered from the French Crotale. The missile is deployed on both ships and land-based vehicles. China revealed the export version, FM-90, in the 1989 Dubai Air Show. Unit cost is around $162,000 per launcher and $24,500 per missile.
The HQ-7 is currently operated by the naval forces of China, Pakistan, Algeria and Bangladesh.
The Missiles used by the HQ-7 defense system have the length of 3 m (9.8 ft) and diameter of 0.156 m (6.1 in). The missile travels at the speed of Mach 2.3 with the maximum range of 15 km. Missile uses a High-Explosive Fragmentation Warhead with proximity fuse detonation mechanism.
About the HQ-10 short range surface-to-air missile/point defense missile system
The HQ-10 is a short-range surface-to-air missile designed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), currently in service as a point defense missile system aboard PLA Navy warships.
The design of the HQ-10 places it in a similar role to the American Rolling Airframe Missile Defense System, both serving as point defense missile systems.
Each HQ-10 missile has a length of around 2 m and a width of around 0.12 m. The missile has a range of 9 km against subsonic targets and 6 km against supersonic targets, and a flight altitude as low as 1.5 meters.
The guidance system is said to be an advanced matrix imaging infrared (IIR) seeker. However, it appears to have a pair of horn-like protrusions at the front of the missile which may indicate the existence of passive radar seekers or semi-active radar seekers.
The launcher is designed to be customizable in terms of the number of missiles carried. Possible different configurations include 8, 15, 18, and 24 missiles, which can be deployed on different warships based on size and suitability. It is claimed that the system can launch missiles in about 10 seconds.