LY-60 / FD-60 / PL10

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Type air-to-air & surface-to-air missiles
Place of origin  China
Service history
In service late 1980s – present
Used by China, Pakistan
Production history
Manufacturer Shanghai Academy of Science and Technology
Produced since late 1980s
Weight 220 kg
Length 3.69 meter
Diameter 203 mm
Warhead 33 kg warhead
impact / proximity

Engine rocket motor
Propellant solid fuel
18 km for SAM, 60 km for AAM
Air & surface

The LY-60/FD-60/PL-10/HQ-6/6D/64 is a family of Chinese missiles developed by the Shanghai Academy of Science and Technology, largely based on the Italian Selenia Aspide missile - itself inspired by the American AIM-7 Sparrow missile. There are four versions of the basic design, three of which are surface-to-air and one air-to-air.


Development of the LY-60 was precipitated by the Chinese requirement for a beyond-visual-range (BVR) weapons system. Directly copying the AIM-7 proved unsuccessful, after which China purchased a number of Alenia Aspide missiles from Italy. Due to the urgent need for BVR air-to-air missiles, PL-11 was given the priority. The very first batch of PL-11 was an Aspide assembled in China, but using Italian components, and it was accepted into Chinese service in the same year. However, hopes of locally manufacturing the missile under license collapsed after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989.


The HQ-6 ("Red flag-6") was the second member of the LY-60/PL-10/HQ-6/6D/64/DK-10 family developed, but it entered service before the air-to-air version PL-10, despite an earlier start by the PL-10. The entire SAM system consists of four truck mounted radars (one search/surveillance radar and three tracking/fire control radars), one power supply truck, and six transporter erector launchers (TEL)s. The missile itself is directly derived from the air-to-air version PL-11. Unlike the Italian Aspide which utilizes containers as launchers, HQ-6 utilizes missile launching rails (MLR) instead, and each truck-mounted launcher has two MLRs/missiles. Specifications:[1]

  • Length: 5.99 m
  • Diameter: 134  mm
  • Wingspan: 1.23 m
  • Weight: 600 kg
  • Speed: Mach 1
  • Maximum Flight Speed: 150 meters per second
  • Maximum maneuvering overload: 5 g
  • Maximum maneuvering overload [interception]: 1 g
  • Range
    • Normal: 5 meters - 40 meters
    • Slant: 14 meters - 16 meters

The PL-10 (Pi Li, "Thunderbolt") air-to-air missile was developed for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), and is carried by Jian J-8B fighters. Although it was the first member of the LY-60/PL-10/HQ-6/6D/64/DK-10 series to be developed, it was actually the second member to become operational, after the HQ-6, the surface-to-air version.


During the mid-life upgrade of PL-10, the semi-active radar homing (SARH) seeker was replaced by active radar homing (ARH) seekers, resulting in two versions, one with a Russian ARH seeker, the other with a domestic Chinese ARH seeker. The K/AAK-10 is the version with an active seeker, but it's not clear if it is the one with a foreign ARH seeker or a domestic seeker.


The LY-60 (Lie Ying, "Falcon") is a surface-to-air missile system deployed by the People's Liberation Army. It entered service among air defense units beginning in 1994 and was unveiled by the Chinese Precision Machinery Import-Export Company or CPMIEC at the International Weapons Systems Exhibition, "Defendory '94," held in Piraeus, Greece in October 1994. Capable of intercepting air targets at medium and low altitudes, it supports advanced command and control features not found in any of its Western contemporaries.[citation needed]

A LY-60 battery consists of a surveillance radar, three tracking/illumination radars, six TELs, and support equipment mounted on trucks. Between these systems, it can detect 40, track 12 and engage 3 targets. Incorporating the moving target tracking processing system as well as frequency agility technology gives the missile system excellent capability in an electronic warfare environment.[2]

The LY-60 uses semi-active radar homing with a single shot kill probability of between 60 - 70%. The missile has two pairs of fully movable front wings and four fixed tail fins with a wingspan of 680 millimeters. The wings and fins aerodynamic placement are in a X-X pattern.

The LY-60 missile consists of 4 major modules in the following order: homing, warhead, control and engine. The homing module consists of the cowling for antenna, homing system, fuse and power supply. The warhead consist of the 33 kg warhead with prefabricated shell fragments in the form of steel balls, arming circuit and safety. The control module consists of the autopilot, hydraulic system, servo system, frequency mixer for the homing module, the four movable wings, dropout plug and the forward suspension device. The engine module consists of the solid state rocket motor, four fixed tail fins, ignition plug and rear suspension device. Specifications:

  • Length: 3.69 m
  • Diameter: 203 mm
  • Wingspan: 1 m
  • Weight: 220 kg
  • Warhead 33 kg
  • Speed: Mach 3
  • Maximum Flight Speed: 600 meters per second
  • Maximum maneuvering overload: 35 g
  • Maximum maneuvering overload [interception]: 7 g
  • Range(PL-10) AA : 60 km
  • Range (LY-60)
    • Normal: 30 meters - 12000 meters
    • Slant: 10 meters - 18000 meters
  • Guidance Semi-Active Radar Homing


The HQ-64 is an improved version of the HQ-6, utilizing experience gained from LY-60, with firepower doubled by increasing the number of missiles for each truck mounted launcher from two to four, and by replacing the MLR mounting by missiles in container box launchers. Both the missile and TELs are directly developed from the LY-60. Although the missile is smaller than that of the HQ-6, the performance actually improved due to technological advances. HQ-64 passed state certification test and was accepted into Chinese service in 2001.[3] The reaction time for the system in fully automated mode is 9 seconds and the maximum speed of the missile is increased to Mach 4.[4] Other improvements is mainly concentrated on ECCM capability, and many Chinese internet sources have claimed (yet to be confirmed) that the HQ-64 is derived from HQ-6-4, meaning 4 missiles (for each launcher) version the HQ-6.


The HQ-6D is the latest development of the family, and it is basically a HQ-64 system with an addition of a command vehicle. Each command vehicle is able to command & control up to four HQ-64 batteries,[5] thus linking up independent HQ-64 batteries to form an integrated air defense net work, and each HQ-6D network can in turn be integrated into larger air defense network. The standard time that the HQ-6D SAM system takes from travelling order to being ready to fire is less than 15 minutes, but a highly skilled crew can reduce this time to just 9 minutes.[6][7]


The DK-10 is the active radar homing (ARH) SAM version of the LY-60/PL-10/HQ-6/6D/64/DK-10 series. The DK-10 is basically a K/AKK-10 modified for use as a SAM. In addition to the K/AKK-10, active versions of the PL-11 and PL-12 (SD-10) can also be adopted for use by the DK-10 SAM system. Due to the limited production of the PL-10/11, all current DK-10 SAMs are PL-12(SD-10) based,[8] according to the developer at the 9th Zhuhai Airshow held in November 2012, this is because, it is believed, that the limited stock of PL-10/11s have already been exhausted in training.

Sky Dragon[edit]

The Sky Dragon air defense system (SD ADS) is an SAM system based on the DK-10. SD ADS consists of a fire control vehicle, an IBIS 130 radar vehicle, and up to six launch vehicles each carrying four SAMs. The 3D radar can simultaneously track 144 targets and engage 12 targets by guiding a total of 24 missiles, with two missiles against each target to ensure that the minimum probability of kill is greater than eighty percent. The maximum range of the SAM is around 50 km and an engagement altitude of between 30 meters and 20 km.[9]

In November 2014, the Sky Dragon 50 air defense system was placed on exhibition at the Zhuhai Airshow 2014. It was revealed that the Sky Dragon 50 system is formed by one command centre vehicle, one IBIS130 search radar vehicle and up to 6 launch vehicles, each carrying 4 missiles. A new code name GAS2 was also published in promotion materials.[10]

Deployment and Export[edit]

It was once thought that the naval variant, the LY-60N, would replace the Hongqi-61 as the point defense missile of Chinese warships. However, it would seem the weapon is passed over in favor of the HQ-7, which now equips the Luhai class destroyer, Luhu class destroyer, and Jiangwei class frigate, because only a very limited number of land-based systems entered Chinese service for port/harbor defense.

The LY-60N was, however, exported to Pakistan in the 1990s to re-fit its purchase of 6 ex-Royal Navy Type 21 frigates, re-classified as the Tariq class. Three Tariq class ships were fitted with the 6-cell LY-60N SAM, the other three with 2×2-cell Harpoon anti-ship missiles.[11][12]

Additionally, a man-portable SAM version was developed designated FY-60.


Map with LY-60 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]


  • 19960619, National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC): "Lieh Ying: The Chinese-built Surface to Air Missile Weapon System", An Hua, NAIC-ID(RS)T-0253-96

See also[edit]