China – New Anti-Radar Missile

ChainHomeHigh provides some analysis regarding China’s LD-10 anti-radiation missile unveiled at this years’ Zhuhai Air Show in Guangdong province.

The LD-10 is an air-launched system which is believed to be deployable on board the Chengdu J-10/F-10 Vigorous Dragon, Xian JH-7/FBC-1 Flying Leopard and Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17/FC-1 Thunder combat aircraft.

Little is known regarding this new weapon, although it is thought to be based upon the PL-12/SD-10 air-to-air missile, sharing its flight control system and physical dimensions, but being outfitted with a different seeker. The PL-12 is thought to have a range of between 70 and 100 kilometres (38-54 nautical miles), and uses inertial mid-course guidance which can be updated via a data link, plus active radar homing for the end game. Destruction is achieved using a high explosive fragmentation proximity-fused warhead.

A number of changes may have been incorporated into the LD-10 missile to ensure that it can perform the anti-radar mission. This presumably includes replacing the SD-10’s seeker with a new system able to detect radars operating across the Ultra-High Frequency (300 megahertz to one gigahertz) band, and from one gigahertz up to 40 gigahertz to cover the L- to Ka-bands.

China is known to have a requirement for the interception of airborne early warning aircraft, therefore the LD-10’s seeker maybe optimised to detect and engage the L-band and S-band (2-4GHz) radars which are used by such platforms.

The performance of the LD-10, presuming that it is close to that of the PD-12/SD-10, would provide the missile with a speed advantage compared to the circa-2,280 kilometres-per-hour (1,231 knots) of Raytheon’s AGM-88 High Speed Anti Radiation (HARM) series of weapons as the Chinese missile is said to be capable of reaching 4,772km/h (2,576 knots). That said, the AGM-88 still has a slight range advantage compared to the PD-12/SD-10.

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