After officially inducting recently Chinese developed HQ-16 (Hongqi-16) Medium range SAM systems with a range of 40 km into Pakistani Army, Pakistan government again has requested Chinese government to supply Pakistan Army with HQ-9 which is a derivative of the Russian-made S-300 long-range SAM system.

HQ-9 is a fourth-generation surface to air missile (SAM) system which is exported as the FD-2000. HQ-9 is a two-stage missile which is armed with 180 kg warhead, has a maximum speed of Mach 4.2 and has a maximum range of 200 km.

HQ-9 is capable of engaging multiple aircraft, including combat aircraft. It resembles the Russian S300 system but China is assessed to have developed variants of the system with a longer range, potentially up to 230 kilometres.

HQ-9 has been on Pakistan’s wishlist from 2010 onwards after it was showcased for the first time in 2009 but for some reasons, Chinese were not interested in selling them to Pakistan but after warning India recently over sale of Akash Surface to Air defence system to Vietnam, Pakistan’s wish list might find high-level clearance as per recent media reports from Chinese leadership .

HQ-9 if exported to Pakistan will be its longest and most capable Surface to Air defence system . While S-400 with have a superior range of 400 km and comes equipped with next generation long-range radars and capabilities, HQ-9 will allow Pakistani Military for the first time to target aircraft and helicopters flying deep inside Indian air space, since HQ-16 inducted recently carried maximum range of only 40 km and largely have been used as defensive surface to air defence systems deployed to guard key installations and airbases .

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