Military Review

"Red Arrows" from the Middle Kingdom


It's no secret that most of the Chinese weapons and military equipment were created by Chinese engineers using, as they say, "seamless design technology." In other words, they were copied entirely from foreign samples obtained in different ways, adapting to the production technologies available in the country. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the wide variety armory clones of well-known companies with a different name and brand "MadeinChina».

At the end of 70's NORINCO, a leading Chinese weapons company (China North Industries Corp.), began the development of the Red Arrow 8 (Red Arrow) series. This is the second-generation ATGM complex with a semi-automatic command guidance system. By 2002, the ATGM family already consisted of five complexes: Red Arrow 8А; Red Arrow 8C; Red Arrow 8E; Red Arrow 8F; Red Arrow.

All of them are intended mainly for the destruction of enemy armored vehicles and can be operated both in a portable version from a tripod launcher (PU) and from a carrier (light wheel machine, armored personnel carrier, helicopter).

 The development of the Red Arrow 8 anti-tank systems began in 1977, after identifying the obvious tactical flaws of the first-generation anti-tank systems of the first generation Red Arrow 73 (an exact copy of the Soviet Malyutka ATGM). They showed up in the combat use of the original variants of the complex during the war in the Middle East in 1973 and in Vietnam in 1972-1973. By this time, China, through Vietnam, had access to the technical documentation of the TOW American ATGM.

The development and design of a new Chinese anti-tank complex was entrusted to the Scientific Research Institute Ns 203, which later became part of NORINCO.

In the middle of 1980's. tests were conducted Chinese new ATGM, in which 109 missiles from 113 launches hit the target. When testing for armor penetration of 58 missiles from 60, they overcame homogeneous rolled armor 180 mm thick at an angle 68 ° from the normal.

ATRA Red Arrow 8A on tripod PU: 1 - TPC with a rocket; 2 - infrared goniometer with an optical sight; 3 - tripod machine; 4 - electronic control unit

With 1987, the mass production of the complex began.
by NORINCO for the needs of the PRC Army. By 2003, the 28148 ATGM was produced, and by 2012, the 6892 ATGM of the Red Arrow 8 family is planned to be produced.

ATGM Red Arrow

The PTRC Red Arrow 8A is a second-generation complex with a semi-automatic command-line sighting guidance system with the transfer of commands over a wired communication line. The minimum firing range is 100 m, the maximum - 3000 m.

ATGM Red Arrow

The complex includes: a rocket placed in a transport and launch container (TLC); IR gonio meter with an optical sight; electronic control unit; tripod machine.
The calculation consists of two people, but transfer it to at least four fighters.
  The Red Arrow 8А rocket does not look different from the British Aerospace-developed Swingfire anti-tank guided missile system. It consists of a cumulative warhead located in the front of the hull, hardware compartment, a solid-state solid-fuel rocket engine (RDTT) and four folding stabilizer blades installed in the tail section. When a rocket is placed in a container, the stabilizer blades are folded around its body.

In flight, the rocket is controlled by changing the direction of the thrust vector with the help of deflectors acting on the gas flows, which expire through four nozzles tilted backwards. Nozzles are installed in the center of mass of ATGM.

An infrared tracer is installed in the tail section of the rocket, which allows you to monitor the rocket and aim at the target using an infrared goniometer in a semi-automatic mode, when the ATGM is displayed on the line of sight by commands received via a wired communication line from the PU control unit.

The flight of the rocket provides a two-chamber solid-fuel rocket engine with two modes of thrust.

ATGM Red Arrow 8A mounted on an 531 BTR Tour


ATGM Red Arrow 8A installed on a light machine (4x4)


ATGM Red Arrow 8E
ATGM Red Arrow 8E on tracked chassis (vehicle weight - 13 tons. Crew - 4 people, ammunition for reloading - 8 ATGM)

In the starter mode, the solid propellant rocket propellant accelerates the rocket to a speed of about 70 m / s. At the launch site, the release of gases occurs through a nozzle in the tail of the rocket. Then the solid propellant switch switches to the march mode and accelerates the rocket to the speed of 200-240 m / s. The release of gases on the marching portion of the rocket’s flight path is made through four nozzles located in the region of the center of mass of the rocket.

Cumulative ATGM Red Arrow For traditional design, weight 3 kg. The BB mass of 1,5 kg ensures the penetrability of 800-mm rolled homogeneous armor at the meeting angle along the normal, and at the angle 68 ° from the normal - 180 mm,

The infrared goniometer unit with an optical sight is designed for monitoring the combat situation, capturing and tracking the target by the operator using an optical sight, as well as for automatic tracking of the missile IR tracer and discrete transmission to the electronic control unit of its coordinates using the IR goniometer.

There are three lenses of optoelectronic devices on the front panel of the IR goniometer unit. One lens is an optical sight with 12x magnification and a 6 "field of view. The other two lenses belong to an IR goniometer for receiving an IR signal from a rocket tracer. At a short distance from the launcher, a lens with a wide (± 49 °) field of view works, and then the switch to the second objective with a narrow (± 7 °) field of view takes place.Dimensions of the IR goniometer block 480x150x280 mm, weight 12,5 kg.

Thermal sight PTI32 th

ATRA Red Arrow Xnumhe on light combat vehicle BJ2023C with wheel 4 formulax4 (combatmachine weight - 2,3 tcrew - 4 people.)

The electronic control unit is designed to process the coordinates of the rocket relative to the line of sight received from the IR goniometer and develop commands for correcting its flight path, to permanently hold the rocket on the line of sight, and also transmit them in analog form over the FL to its instrumental compartment, which then transmits these commands on the PDU. This unit also launches the rocket.

The dimensions of the control unit 665 x 368 x 350 mm, weight 24 kg.

The tripod machine is designed for fixed installation of the complex in a combat position. The operator with the help of pointing drives horizontally (at 360 °) and vertical (from -7 ° to + 13 °) produces the necessary reversal of the complex to capture the target with an optical sight and further follow it up to the defeat.

Dimensions of the tripod machine in the folded state 327 x 368 x 994 mm, weight 23 kg.
The operations at launching an ATGM are simple, but they take time. The rate of fire of the complex is 2-3 shot per minute.

After installing the container with the rocket on the launcher, the operator, using an optical sight, searches for the target and captures it, aligning the crosshair with the target center. Having captured the target, the operator, by pressing on the triggering bracket mounted on the start handle, launches the rocket. The start knob is installed on the left side of the control unit. After the engine accelerates the rocket to the speed of 70 m / s, it will go from the starting mode to the sustainer. The infrared goniometer with a wide-field lens captures the infra-red tracer of the rocket installed in the tail section, and the complex begins to work in semi-automatic mode. The operator only keeps the crosshair of the optical sight on the target, and the IR goniometer determines the position of the rocket relative to the line of sight by tracking the tracer. The control unit generates a course correction command sent to the rocket via FL. This method of guidance does not require such a level of operator training, as, for example, for first-generation ATGMs. It is similar to that used in ATGNs developed in 1970-ies, such as "Competition", TOW, NOT, or Milan.
The Red Arrow 8A ATGM can be installed on the 531 BTR Tour, where there are four missiles in containers on the launcher, or on light vehicles with the 4x4 wheel formula.

ATGM Red Arrow 8S

ATGM Red Arrow 8С differs from the base version of Red Arrow 8А only in the design of the ATGM. The rocket is equipped with a needle in the bow, which has a leading charge of a new tandem cumulative warhead for removing DZ.

For the first time, the Red Arrow 8C ATGM was presented by NORiNCO at the Paris Air Show in 1993.

ATGM Red Arrow 8E

The third variant of the family is the Red Arrow 8E ATGM. Unlike the Red Arrow 8C ATGN, when creating the Red Arrow 8E version, the designers upgraded not only the missiles, but also individual blocks and components of the entire complex. advantages;

• the maximum firing range has been increased to 4000 m when using the basic launcher;
• the analog system for the formation and transmission of rocket control commands to digital was replaced;
• an integrated electronic self-testing system of the complex was installed;
• for use of the complex at night and in case of poor visibility, a PTI-32 thermal imaging sight is installed, having a target detection range of 4000 m, identification - 2000 m and weight - 8 kg;
• to overcome the DZ installed tandem warhead;
• the probability of a missile hitting the target and the reliability of the complex are increased;
• a complete system of logistics and maintenance of ATGMs, as well as training of operators, was created.
The ATLK Red Arrow 8Е is operated in three versions:
• in portable with tripod PU;
• installed on ground carriers;
• helicopter.

Helicopter version of ATGM Red Arrow 8E

ATGM Red Arrow 8L

ATGM Red Arrow 8F with cumulative high-explosive warhead

ATGM Red Arrow 8F

The fourth version of the family was the ATGM Red Arrow 8F, developed in 2002 g. From the previous version it differs in the design of the warhead rocket.

Since the cumulative warheads of the previous Red Arrow 8 ATGM systems were optimized for use against armored vehicles, they are less effective against other types of targets on the battlefield, such as field fortifications, buildings, and bunkers. The Red Arrow 8F warhead rocket consists of two charges - cumulative and high-explosive. The cumulative charge mounted on the head of the rocket pierces the 88-mm rolled steel armor along the normal, clearing the path for the action of the main high-explosive charge, which, penetrating the machine or the structure, causes the maximum possible damage during an explosion inside.

ATGM Red Arrow 8L

ATGM Red Arrow 8L - the fifth version of the ATGM family Red Arrow 8 is equipped with a new PU. It was developed due to the fact that regular tripod PU, together with the guidance system, have a very large mass (59,5 kg) and therefore it is difficult to handle them when deploying and changing firing positions. In 2002, NORINCO has developed a new lightweight PU that is compatible with all existing Red Arrow 8 ATGM options, including the 8A, 8C, 8Е and 8F.

According to reports from NORINCO representatives, the PU Artillery Red Arrow 8L, which weighs only 22,5 kg, can be carried by one infantryman. The guidance unit has also become more compact and lightweight, with improved noise immunity. The standard version of this equipment has a day sight, but if necessary, it is possible to quickly install a thermal sight, which allows you to hit targets at night and in bad weather. The operator of the standard ATGM Red Arrow 8 sits at the left of the launcher of the missile, while from the Red Arrow 8L complex, the operator shoots from a prone position and is located directly above the tripod legs. The use of a new launcher allows for easier deployment and shelter of the complex, and the operator has a better chance of surviving on the battlefield while being in a prone position while shooting.

ATGM Red Arrow 8FAE

In 2006, the company NORINCO has published information about the Red Arrow 8FAE ATGM equipped with a thermobaric warhead. The new missile is designed to destroy bunkers, buildings and other structures, as well as to defeat personnel in urban areas, at a distance of up to 4000. The new ATGM is compatible with all Red Arrow 8 PUs, including the Red Arrow light ATGM. The mass of ATGM is 8 kg.

"Red Arrows" from the Middle Kingdom

ATGM Red Arrow 8L in firing position

Export supplies

B1993 at the International Arms Exhibition in Chile, China demonstrated the Red Arrow 8А ATGM on a regular Piranha (6 x 6) armored vehicle manufactured by Chilean Industries Cardoen Chile Ltd under license from the Swiss company MOWAG. ATGM had a PU on an 4 ATGM Red Arrow 8. Despite the fact that the Chilean side was not interested in the Chinese anti-tank systems, interest appeared in the nearest neighbor - Pakistan. Three years later, Pakistan announced the commencement of licensed production of the Red Arrow 8A ATGM system under the name Baktar Shikan.

A little later, the ATGM Red Arrow XNUMHA appeared in the former Yugoslavia in service with the government forces of Bosnia. It is assumed that the complexes were received from a third party, possibly through Iran.

According to experts, the Red Arrow 8A complex cannot count on great success on the arms market, even among traditional Chinese customers. It has no advantage over other existing ATGMs, such as TOW (USA), NOT (France, Germany), Konkurs (Russia), although it is probably cheaper than similar ATGMs.

Data on the cost of the complex was not published anywhere, however, experts estimate the cost of an ATGM Red Arrow 8 from 4500 to 6700 USD.

Baktar ATKShikan

This ATGM is a Pakistani variant of the Chinese Red Arrow 8A complex and is manufactured under license from 1996. The tactical and technical characteristics of the complex are similar to those of the Red Arrow 8А ATGM.

The standard complex is a tripod version with a day optical sight. At the beginning of 2001, work began on equipping it with a night thermal imaging sights.

In addition to the staff on a tripod, the Pakistan Army uses at least two self-propelled variants of the Baktar Shikan complex. The first is on a Land Rover Defender 110 lightweight machine (4 x 4), in the back of which PU is installed. One of the missiles is in a ready-to-launch mode, and the other two are in layouts.


Bakta rShikan ATGM on BTRM 113


Adhan BTR with Baktar Shikan ATGM

The second option is on the M113 BTR. An additional set of ATGM is located under armor protection.

In connection with the adoption of India tanks with enhanced armor protection (including the Russian T-72M and T-72M1 equipped with dynamic protection), Pakistan began to develop new warheads with increased armor penetration for the Baktar Shikan and TOW ATGMs. The new warhead for the Baktar Shikan ATGM has high efficiency in overcoming both dynamic defense and composite multilayer armor, which provides a high level of protection against shells and which is now equipped with a large number of tanks in service.

New warhead overcomes armor in two stages. In the nose part there is a small cumulative leading charge with a self-assembled combat element that pierces a small hole in the armor, opening the entrance for the cumulative jet of the main charge, which produces the maximum destructive effect. According to representatives of the manufacturer, this new warhead has armor penetration at an angle 68 ° to the normal 460 mm and can hit NATO tanks with multi-layered armor. The caliber of the main warhead is 120 mm. Anti-tank missiles Baktar Shikan with an improved warhead began to enter service with the Pakistani army in 2001.
  At the beginning of 2001, Malaysia signed a contract with Pakistan in the amount of 8,1 million USD for the supply of Baktar Shikan ATGM. The number of delivered complexes to Malaysia was not disclosed. It is only known that by the end of 2004, the Turkish company FNSS Savunta Sistemleri had delivered 211 tracked armored personnel carriers ACV300 in 10 of various configurations to this country, which had commissioned the name Adhan in Malaysia. In one of the variants, the BTRC Baktar Shikan, 7,62-mm machine gun and 8 PU for smoke grenades are installed on the APC. The Baktar Shikan complex on the Adhan armored personnel carrier is mounted on a tumba PU and can be lowered inside the hull. ATGM can be deployed separately from the BTR - on a tripod PU.

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  1. Lopatov
    Lopatov 20 July 2013 10: 28
    ATGM Red Arrow 8L at firing position

    I don’t understand something, is the ATGM so huge, or is it just a Chinese little?
    1. poquello
      poquello 20 July 2013 21: 51
      327 x 368 x 994mm

      Well, how about our not insert:

      "ATGM" Kornet "was used in combat conditions during the Lebanese war in 2006.
      This ATGM, along with other Russian-made anti-tank weapons available to Hezbollah, inflicted the main losses in the armored vehicles of the Israel Defense Forces. IDF representatives admitted that the enemy managed to hit 46 Israeli tanks, three of which were destroyed. According to Hezbollah, its militants were able to knock out 164 enemy tanks. How many of them became victims of the 9M133 Kornet-E ATGM is not specified. However, among the vehicles hit were the newest Merkava-4 tanks, which were considered invulnerable. "
      1. Shadowcat
        Shadowcat 21 July 2013 00: 59
        Oh right now, the professor comes such a holivar begin.))))
        1. poquello
          poquello 21 July 2013 14: 57
          Quote: ShadowCat
          Oh right now, the professor comes such a holivar begin.))))

          And sho? Says for statistics is not enough, do you need more?
          1. Shadowcat
            Shadowcat 21 July 2013 15: 54
            Probably, maybe he will say that the tanks just weren’t hit, and so that the opponents would not be upset, they would be laid back: D
    2. rolik
      rolik 22 July 2013 00: 16
      Quote: Spade
      I don’t understand something, is the ATGM so huge, or is it just a Chinese little?

      Judging by the photo, this is a small, Chinese astronomer)))))))))
  2. AVV
    AVV 20 July 2013 10: 45
    Yes, you can’t drag such a fool on yourself !!!
  3. starmos
    starmos 20 July 2013 12: 30
    For one ATGM 100 Chinese laughing
    AVDOTYAKARLOVNA 20 July 2013 18: 00
    This is the most destructive weapon ... the tank has no chance. From a distance of 12 km a tank comes off the tank and the left caterpillar is torn apart and the crew turns into minced meat.
  5. 6216390
    6216390 20 July 2013 18: 29
    solid design technology

    I would say a seamless construction.
    1. Ramadan
      Ramadan 21 July 2013 22: 55
      Essential remark)))
  6. Alexanderlaskov
    Alexanderlaskov 20 July 2013 20: 09
    Serious. Well, the Chinese. Copy constantly. How they do it is interesting. The miracle is Chinese.
  7. Alexanderlaskov
    Alexanderlaskov 20 July 2013 20: 13
    This is the most destructive weapon ... the tank has no chance. From a distance of 12 km a tank comes off the tank and the left caterpillar is torn apart and the crew turns into minced meat.

    Well, I would not say that the most destructive. There are more powerful weapons!
  8. roma-belij
    roma-belij 21 July 2013 10: 34
    Technology "Weapon copier")))
  9. roma-belij
    roma-belij 21 July 2013 10: 35
    Technology "Weapon copier")))
  10. WIN969
    WIN969 21 July 2013 11: 29
    Narrow-eyed plague! Already captured all of Siberia, it’s time to take up them properly.
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 25 July 2013 14: 08
      Gasterbeiters from the expanses of the USSR have already captured Moscow and Peter. And you about Siberia ... Visa-free regime with Belarus and Ukraine, a fig.