China has cleared for export a variant of the HQ-17A road-mobile, short-range air-defence (SHORAD) system known as the HQ-17AE. The HQ-17 family, the 6Ã—6 HQ-17AE is intended to provide air defence against precision-guided munitions â€“ such as cruise missiles, guided bombs, and air-to-surface missiles â€“ as well as against the more traditional SHORAD target set of aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although reverse engineered from the Tor-M1, the HQ-17 is not a direct copy and instead features many improvements. It is unclear whether the HQ-17AE is just a new designation for the FM-2000, or whether it is a distinct variant that uses a transporter, launcher, and radar (TLAR) vehicle more closely based on the HQ-17A TLAR design. The difference between the HQ-17A and the FM-2000 TLARs is minor, as both systems use the same turret, but their base platform hull is different.
Supposedly, the wheeled launch vehicle was produced because of a flaw of the tracked variant, which was having a long lag time between stopping and shooting. The wheeled vehicle, in the form of the FM-2000 supposedly features upgraded electronic countermeasures (ECM) in the form of counter-jamming capability against multiple targets. The wheeled launch vehicle is produced by Dongfeng Motor Corporation and is a 6×6 chassis similar to a Belarusian MZKT-6922. The vehicle weighs around 30 tons, and is about 9.7 m long, 3.1 m tall and 3.7 m wide. The launch vehicle of the HQ-17 integrates launchers with missiles and radar on a single chassis and thus is able to operate independently. Features include an all-wheel drive system, central tire pressure system and a lightly armored which provides some degree of protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. It is reportedly powered by a roughly 400 HP diesel engine and has a maximum speed of 80 km/h and range of 800 km.