China successfully test-fires new air-to-air missile

The missile, is projected as a "secret weapon" to gain air superiority.

Last Updated: May 20, 2011, 20:44 PM IST

Beijing: China has claimed to have
successfully test fired an indigenously built next-generation
air-to-air missile, which is projected as a "secret weapon" to
gain air superiority.

China has independently developed a next-generation
air-to-air missile without assistance from foreign specialists
or borrowed technology, state-run People`s Daily reported.

"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 defence and strengthening the influence of China," it
said.

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, it said.

"Its successful development indicates that China
already fully possesses the ability to independently develop
internationally-advanced air-to-air missiles," it said
projecting it a historic breakthrough in China`s air-to-air
missile development.

The missile has met the Chinese Air Force`s
requirement for the model to be designed, produced, delivered
and made combat effective within one year, it said adding that
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," it said.

Facing host restrictions for access to high end
defence technology from EU and US, the missile was considered
a breakthrough as no foreign military experts were involved in
its development.

The successful completion of the missile is the
culmination of Fan Huitao`s career in the aviation industry,
it said.

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.

PTI