Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Analysis: China to get SAMs from Russia

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Andrei Chang
Hong Kong (UPI) May 2, 2008
Russia will deliver to China four battalions of 200-kilometer-range S-300PMU2 surface-to-air missiles this summer, the last batch in a series ordered by China. The first batch of four battalions of the same missiles was delivered in July 2007.

Starting in 1993, China received 12 battalions of S-300 SAMs, four of them S-300PMUs and eight S-300PMU1s. This means there are a total of 20 battalions of S-300 SAMs deployed in China. These missiles are expected to play a major role in China's core air defense system.

These missiles now cover the whole of the Chinese coast facing the Taiwan Strait. Positions previously covered by HQ-2 ground-to-air missiles have been upgraded to S-300 launch positions.

In the combat theater centered on the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province, Longtian Airport is armed with S-300s, which are intended to cover the whole northern section of the combat area. The S-300PMU1/2s deployed along the Taiwan Strait are right along the coastline, providing the first line of air defense for the operations of AWACS and bombers behind the front lines.

Since H-6H bombers are armed with long-range YJ-63 air-to-surface missiles, the KJ-200/2000 AWACS and H-6H/Ks outer-line protection is supported by the S-300 SAMs. These land-based SAM systems will provide effective protection against attacks from the air.

The objective of deploying S-300 SAMs at Longtian and Huian Airport is to protect the airports during a confrontation, and provide emergency landing sites for damaged combat aircraft. The mainstay third generation fighter aircraft including Su-27, J-11, Su-30 and J-10A fighters will not directly use these airport facilities due to their long flight ranges.

Originally, there was one S-300 position and one HQ-2 ground-to-air missile position at Longtian Airport. The S-300 position is composed of four launch vehicles and uses 64N6E search radar. This indicates that the ground-to-air missiles deployed at this airport are at least S-300PMU1s, because in the early phase the first batch of these missiles imported from Russia used ST-68UM (36D6) search radar produced by the Ukrainian Iskra Industrial Complex.

One battalion of the PLA Air Force's S-300PMU1 missiles normally uses four launch vehicles. The HQ-2 ground-to-air missile launch positions originally deployed at Longtian Airport are probably being rebuilt at the present time. A standard HQ-2 launch position usually has six launch sites, but currently the position has a layout of four launch sites and is equipped with a new warehouse. This is very likely prepared for the deployment of the S-300s. Nonetheless, the latest Google Earth satellite images show that S-300 missiles have not yet taken up this position.

Huian Airport is located in the north-central section of the Fujian coast directly facing the Taiwan Strait, and S-300s are also deployed at this airport. Besides, S-300 SAM positions have also been built in the Xindian area close to the city of Xiamen, where HQ-2 SAM positions have been upgraded to S-300 positions.

The HQ-2 positions in the Jiaomei area have also been rebuilt into S-300 positions. An analysis of images of the two positions released by Google Earth indicates that S-300 missiles have not yet been deployed here, however. HQ-2 SAMs were originally deployed at Zhengzhou Airport. The structure of the position currently being rebuilt is rather blurry. It is worth watching whether S-300 SAMs will be deployed here in the future.

In sum, there are five S-300 positions and two HQ-2 positions along the Taiwan Strait, the latter two located at Zhengzhou and Shantou Airports, with altogether 20 S-300 launchers. The No.2 Ground-to-Air Missile Brigade is stationed in this area.

S-300 positions are also found under construction in Beijing and Qingdao. The missiles have been sighted at the Zhonghuabu position near Qingdao, indicating this is the newest S-300 position, probably intended for the deployment of the latest S-300PMU2s. The importance of Qingdao lies in that the S-300s deployed here can be used to provide protection for the PLA Navy's No.1 Nuclear Submarine Base currently under expansion.

Almost all the S-300PMU1s are concentrated around Beijing. The No. 5 Ground-to-Air Missile Division was the first air defense unit to receive the S-300 missiles. It deserves close attention whether the No. 6 Ground-to-Air Division has been equipped with, or will receive, S-300 SAMs.

A new HQ-9 ground-to-air missile position has been observed at Fangezhuang, indicating that at least two battalions of HQ-9s are now under operational deployment. The first HQ-9 launch position was discovered at Jiuquan. Different from the S-300 position, the HQ-9 position is rectangular in shape, with eight launch sites. This means that one launch battalion is composed of eight launch vehicles, and the fire control radar is placed in the middle of the rectangular-shaped launch position.

At the outer rim of the launch position, circular roads connect the launch sites to enhance mobility and logistic efficiency. The deployment of HQ-9s in Beijing means that China's air defense capability has improved greatly, with a network that provides multiple-system, long-range and deep air defense. However, observers outside China have little knowledge of the technical parameters of the HQ-9. At least six S-300 SAM positions have been noticed around the Beijing region.

Other S-300 positions have been identified in Dalian and Lushun. This region is given special attention as it occupies a strategically important location; any aerial attacks upon Beijing launched by U.S. forces based on the Korean peninsula would have to go through this region.

Another major city currently protected by S-300 SAMs is of course Shanghai, where the No. 3 Ground-to-Air Missile Brigade is stationed. The Nichung and Minhang S-300 positions to the south of Shanghai are very close to the shore, and are obviously intended to deal with air attacks on Shanghai by Taiwan's tactical air force units in the event of a confrontation.

The 64N6E search radar used by S-300 SAM systems has also been sighted in the area close to Gongjialu, which very likely transmits aerial information data to other S-300 positions deployed in the neighboring area. One S-300 position is found at Liuhe to the north of Shanghai. The whole Shanghai area seems to be under the protection of four S-300 SAM positions.

The layout of the above missile positions reveals to some extent the tactical intentions of the PLA Air Force, that is, to give priority protection to Beijing and the coastal region with its S-300 SAMs. In particular, the air defense network along the coastal region including the Taiwan Strait and Shanghai has been greatly reinforced. A total of 18 S-300 SAM positions have been identified.

After receiving the new batch of four sets of S-300PMU2 missiles this year, and with the deployment of the HQ-9s, it deserves close observation whether China will continue to purchase new S-300 serial SAMs from Russia.

(Andrei Chang is editor in chief of Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, registered in Toronto.)

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

ATK Delivers Second Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Test Bed Aircraft
Minneapolis MN (SPX) May 01, 2008
Alliant Techsystems, the U.S. Navy, the Italian Air Force, and Vitrociset, have fielded a second Beechcraft King Air test aircraft supporting development and testing of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The test bed aircraft was developed for the Italian Air Force as part of the AARGM System Development and Demonstration (SD and D), a Cooperative Development Program between the U. S. Navy and Italian Air Force.

  • CIA chief says China's rapid military buildup troubling
  • Three Chinese banks in world's top four: study
  • Analysis: Future of EU-Russia relations
  • China, India powers to equal US might in 10 years: Canadian survey

  • SKorea expects NKorea nuke talks soon
  • Khamenei rules out halt to Iran's nuclear drive
  • Clinton has no regrets about threat to 'obliterate' Iran
  • NKorea agrees to give key nuclear complex records: report

  • Analysis: China to get SAMs from Russia
  • ATK Delivers Second Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Test Bed Aircraft
  • SKorea says it will buy air-to-ground missiles from abroad
  • Netherlands Awards Raytheon Paveway Missile Contract

  • BMD Watch: SASC agrees to fund BMD bases
  • Czechs Back US ABM Radar Plans
  • Lockheed Martin Achieves Key Milestone On New Missile Warning Satellite
  • Patriot Power Key To ABM Successes To Date Part Two

  • Belgian airline says it will cut costs, emissions by slowing down
  • Airbus, Boeing sign accord to cut air traffic impact on environment
  • Oil spike, cost of planes led to Oasis collapse: founders
  • Airbus boss says aviation unfairly targeted over climate change

  • Georgia denies Abkhaz, Russian claims over spy planes
  • GD And Elbit Conduct First US Demo Of UAS For US Armed Forces
  • Protonex Receives Contract To Extend UAV Propulsion Systems
  • NATO chief would 'eat tie' over Russia drone claim: spokesman

  • Four US marines killed in Iraq blast
  • Analysis: The new Iraq rebuilding report
  • Iraq war jolts US presidential campaign
  • Baghdad dust storm disrupts road, air traffic

  • Raytheon Sarcos Exoskeleton Robotic Suit Linked To Iron Man Superhero
  • ITT Receives 2 Orders For Systems To Thwart IEDs
  • Raytheon To Solve Thermal Challenges In High-Power Radars
  • Marine Snails Could Help Provide Better Armor For Soldiers

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement