China Tests QW-12 Man-portable Air-defense Systems (MANPADS) Capabilities
China Tests QW-12 Man-portable Air-defense Systems (MANPADS) Capabilities

China Tests QW-12 Man-portable Air-defense Systems (MANPADS) Capabilities

The QW-12, an advanced portable air defense missile developed by China, recently demonstrated its outstanding performance in intercepting helicopters, jets and cruise missiles in a live-fire test, with experts saying on Monday that the weapon is world class, as it displayed an anti-decoy capability no foreign counterpart has ever shown. Held at a target range in North China recently, the test saw the QW-12 missile successfully shoot down a specially designed target aircraft built to simulate an attack helicopter by mimicking its infrared signal. As the QW-12 missile was approaching, the aircraft released eight decoy flares that resemble the infrared signal of the target aircraft in an attempt to disorient the missile. However, the missile ignored the flares and hit the aircraft. No other similar missile in the world has publicly demonstrated this capability.

After examining the QW-12’s capability to hit a slow target like a helicopter, the test challenged the missile to intercept a faster target, which is a 122-millimeter-caliber rocket simulating a jet or a cruise missile that flies at 360 meters a second. In the second test, the QW-12 again successfully intercepted its target by meeting it head-on, the report said, noting that because of its speed, a direct impact was difficult, so the missile used its laser proximity detonator to detonate itself near the target, bringing the target down with shockwaves and fragments. The test showed the QW-12’s abilities under a complex battlefield environment, as the missile is world class. China exhibited QW series missiles at defense expos, and they will offer many choices to the international arms market. While the QW-12 is a portable weapon, it can also be mounted on vehicles, which will give the missile very high mobility.

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The People’s Republic of China-developed QW Vanguard (Qian Wei in Chinese) is an all-aspect man-portable surface-to-air missile, from which a series of missiles were developed. The QW-2, a predecessor of the QW-12, was used by all participants in the air defense competition of the International Army Games. The QW-2 Vanguard 2 is a Chinese all-aspect man-portable infrared homing guided surface-to-air missile. It is not clear when the missile first entered service, but it is likely to have been between 1998 and 2002. The QianWei 2 (or Vanguard 2, its export name) is the third-generation shoulder-launched, all-aspect IR-homing, ‘fire-and-forget’ surface-to-air missile developed by Shenyang-based CASIC 119 Factory (Shenyang Hangtian Xinle Ltd). The QW-2 was first revealed during the 1998 Farnborough Airshow. The missile and launcher of the QW-2 bear strong resemblance to those of the Russian 9K310 Igla-1, and the two missile systems are believed to be comparable in performance.

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