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A model of an export version of the PL-12, SD-10A, (bottom-left corner) with a Pakistan Air Force JF-17 on display at the Farnborough Airshow 2010.
TypeMedium-range, active radar homing air-to-air missile
Place of originPeople's Republic of China
Service history
Used byPeople's Liberation Army Air Force

People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force

Pakistan Air Force
Mass180 kilograms (400 lb)[1]

EngineSolid fuel rocket
70–100 kilometres (43–62 mi)[2][3]
Active radar[4]

The PL-12 (Chinese: 霹雳-12; pinyin: Pī Lì-12; lit.: 'Thunderbolt-12') is an active radar-guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by the People's Republic of China. It is considered comparable to the US AIM-120 AMRAAM and the Russian R-77.[4]

Development history[edit]

The first public information of the Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute's PL-12 – then called the SD-10 – emerged in 2001.[10] Development was assisted by Vympel NPO and Agat of Russia.[11] Liang Xiaogeng is believed to have been the chief designer.[12] Four successful test firings were made in 2004. By 2005, the missile was also known as the PL-12.[11]


The PL-12 may use the radar and data link from the Russian R-77,[13] or otherwise use systems benefiting from technology transfers from Russia. The missile uses a Chinese rocket motor[10] and airframe.[13] The PL-12 may have a passive homing mode for use against jammers and AEW aircraft.[10]


SD-10A on display with the JF-17 light-weight fighter at the Farnborough International Airshow 2010.
  • SD-10 (ShanDian-10, 闪电-10) - Export version of the PL-12. There is also a SD-10B.[9]


Map with PL-12 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

 People's Republic of China
  • Pakistan Air Force (PAF), 600 ordered. 425 received as of 2018.[14]

See also[edit]

Similar weapons[edit]


  1. ^ a b O'Rourke: page 21
  2. ^ Medeiros et al.: page 93
  3. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (21 February 2010). "The Air Balance on the Taiwan Strait". International Assessment and Strategy Center. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Cliff: page 8
  5. ^ Hallion etc al.: page 195
  6. ^ O'Rourke: page 77
  7. ^ Gormley et al.: page 55
  8. ^ Gormley et al.: page 13
  9. ^ a b Jennings, Gareth (4 March 2015). "Bulgaria to be offered JF-17 fighter by Pakistan". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (2 February 2008). "China's Emerging 5th Generation Air-to-Air Missiles". International Assessment and Strategy Center. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b Medeiros et al.: page 92
  12. ^ Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (18 September 2015). "Chief designer reveals data on China's new Luoyang PL-10 AAM". Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  13. ^ a b Fisher, Richard D. Jr. (21 November 2002). "Military Sales to China: Going to Pieces". International Assessment and Strategy Center. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "SIPRI Trade Register". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.