China successfully develops new-generation air-to-air missile

16:54, May 19, 2011      

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China has achieved what some foreign experts once thought was impossible — it has independently developed a next-generation air-to-air missile without assistance from foreign specialists or borrowed technology.

Designed by Fan Huitao, the deputy director of the Air-to-Air Missile Research Institute under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the missile, known as the "Key Model," successfully passed the designed type approval test and achieved an excellent result, with all seven missiles hitting their targets.

Its successful development indicates that China already fully possesses the ability to independently develop internationally-advanced air-to-air missiles. It is a historic breakthrough in China's air-to-air missile development and has met the Chinese Air Force's requirement for the model to be designed, produced, delivered and made combat effective within one year. The new missile offers the military and country another trump card.

The Key Model is an international-advanced AAM model. It is a secret weapon for gaining air superiority. It plays a crucial role in reinforcing the power of national defense and strengthening the influence of China.

However, it is very hard to develop and only a few developed countries around the world possess such a capability. The complicated system of the model and the high-grade, high-precision and advanced technologies needed to develop it has never been seen in the development of other models.

Foreign military experts once believed that employing foreign specialists as chief designers was the only way for China to succeed. Even some Chinese experts believed that the success rate of developing this kind of missile was not high when relying only on the current technical conditions of China. This was because China did not have any documents to refer to and could not use a shortcut.

The successful completion of the missile is the culmination of Fan Huitao's career in the aviation industry. After Fan graduated from Northwestern Poly-technical University with a major in aircraft engines in April 1986, he went to Luoyang and devoted himself to the field of air-to-air missiles.

In 2000, Fan took over as the chief model designer and began to lead a group in researching China's new-generation air-to-air missile.

By People's Daily Online

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