Air Defense: China Supplies All Your Needs


May 26, 2010: Indonesia has received its first shipment of Chinese made QW-3 shoulder fired, surface to air missiles. These are 23 kg (51 pound), heat sensing weapons that can hit aircraft at up to 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) and up to eight kilometers (five miles) away. Top speed is 2,700 kilometers an hour (750 meters a second) and targets as low as four meters (13 feet) from the ground can be hit. The missile, in its container, is 2.1 meters (6.5 feet) long.

The QW-3 is in the same class as the U.S. Stinger. The QW series began development in the 1990s, as China sought to develop missiles to replace its HN series of Russian SAM-7 clones. China still manufactures and exports HN-5s, as a low cost solution to your anti-aircraft needs. But the QW-3 is the top of the line and has been in service for over five years. China is aggressively marketing its weapons to Indonesia, offering low prices and no strings (the U.S. has cut off Indonesia over human rights issues.) China has a full range of anti-aircraft systems, including one similar to the U.S. Patriot and Russians S-300 (the Chinese are believed to have heavily borrowed technology from both of these). Chinese air defense weapons are priced to move, and there is an implicit guarantee that if any nation on the planet develops new air defense technology, China can steal it and adopt it as its own.  

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