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The PL-7 air-to-air missile (PL stands for Pi Li, "Thunderbolt" in Chinese, the generic designation for all PRC air-to-air missiles) is the PRC version of the French Magic R.550 missile. It is a short-range, infra-red guided missile use by Chinese fighters. It was designed by Wu Shendao, and produced at the Factory 331 (Zhuzhou Aeroengine factory) (中国株洲航空发动机厂).


  • Length - 2.74 m
  • Diameter - 157 mm
  • Wingspan - 0.66 m
  • Weight - 89 kg
  • Warhead - 12.5 kg
  • Speed - Mach 2.5
  • Range - 0.5 to 14 km
  • Guidance - IR

Operational history

During late 2000 and 2001, Zimbabwean BAE Hawks were reportedly armed with PL-7s for air escort missions against possible Ugandan MiG-21s during the their deployment in support of Laurent Kabila's government.

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