Air Defense: China Clones And Exports Another Russian System


December 11, 2014: China is now offering m for export an upgraded version of their SD-12 anti-aircraft system. Originally introduced in 2012 as FK-1000, it is still basically a large truck containing radar and short range missiles. This is seen as a pretty direct copy of the Russian 2K22 (SA-18) self-propelled (on a tracked vehicle) system armed with radar, eight anti-aircraft missiles (10 kilometers range), and two 30mm (4,000 meters range) automatic cannon (with 1,900 rounds of ammo). The SD-12 has no automatic cannon and twelve copies of the Tunguska missiles used on the 2K22 system. The SD-12 is mounted on an 8x8 wheeled vehicle and carries a more modern AESA radar but its missiles can only hit targets at up to 5,000 meters altitude.

Therefore the original SD-12 was not the most modern weapon of this type. The upgraded version is a different matter as it now has a search as well as a fire control radar. The Chinese use more commercial electronics and a missile with 20 percent more range than the Tunguska.

In 2008 Russia began replacing the 2K22 with the more modern Pantsir-S1, which is mounted on an 8x8 truck. Each vehicle carries radar, two 30mm cannon, and twelve upgraded Tunguska missiles. The 90 kg (198 pound) Tunguska missile now has a twenty kilometer range while the Pantsir-S1 radar has a 30 kilometer range. The missile can hit targets at up to 8,400 meters (26,000 feet) high. The 30mm cannon is effective up to 3,200 meters (10,000 feet). The vehicles used to carry all the Pantsir-S1 can vary, but the most common one used weighs 20 tons and has a crew of three. Each Pantsir-S1 vehicle costs about $15 million, which is about the same as the older 2K22 but with superior capabilities. The SD-12 looks more like the Pantsir-S1 but has capabilities closer to the older 2k22 and costs closer to $5 million each. The SD-12 is apparently a lot cheaper than Pantsir-S1.


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