Military Wiki
Type Short-range air-to-air missile
Place of origin China
Production history
Manufacturer Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC),
Hanzhong Nanfeng Machine Factory
Weight 148kg (PL-5B, PL-5C), 83kg (PL-5E)
Length 3.128m (PL-5B, PL-5C), 2.893m (PL-5E)
Diameter 0.127m (PL-5E)

Warhead 6kg blast-frag, or expanding rod (RF-fuse)
Active infrared, laser proximity fuse(PL-5EII)

Engine Solid-fuel rocket
Wingspan 0.657m (PL-5B, PL-5C), 0.617m (PL-5E)
1.3-16km (PL-5B, PL-5C), 0.5-16~18km (PL-5E)
Speed Mach 2.5
Infrared homing, multi-element, dual band detector(PL-5EII)
Aircraft, helicopter gunships

The PL-5 (霹雳-5) air-to-air missile (PL stands for Pi Li, "Thunderbolt" in Chinese, the generic designation for all PRC air-to-air missiles) is a short-range, infra-red guided missile use by Chinese fighters. It is based on AA-2 Atoll technology and resembles the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The PL-5 was designed and developed at China's Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC), also known as Institute 612; its design team members included Chen Jiali (陈家礼), Dong Chunfeng, Hu Rongchao (胡荣超), Huang Bin, Zhang Ming (张明), and Zheng Zhiwei (郑志伟). It was reportedly produced at the Hanzhong Nanfeng Machine Factory (also known as the Hanzhong Air-to-Air Missile Factory) of China Aviation Industry Corporation I.

The PL-5 have been continuously upgraded by Luoyang and the latest variant, the PL-5EII added a dual band, multi-element detector as well as a laser proximity fuse similar to the PL-9. According to Chinese export/import agency CATIC, the PL5E has an all-aspect capability with the seeker having a maximum off boresight angle of ±25° before launch, and ±40° after launch.[1]

PLAAF J-10 and J-11 fighter jets are mainly using PL-8 missile, which is more advanced comparing PL-5. However due to greater weight and dimension of PL-8 missile, for F-7 and JH-7, PL-5 is still the preferable air-to-air missile at this stage.[2]


  •  Bangladesh
  •  Burma
  •  Egypt
  •  Iran
  •  Iraq
  •  North Korea
  •  Pakistan 900 ordered, PL-5E.[3]
  •  Sri Lanka
  •  Sudan
  •  Tanzania
  •  Venezuela 100 ordered, PL-5E.[3]
  •  Zimbabwe


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