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View of H/AKJ-16 vertical launch system on a Type-054A (NATO: Jiangkai II) frigate)
Source: U.S. Navy (Sam Shavers) - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

Naval SAM system
Entered service
In service
1999 - 2008 (design project)
2007 - 2008 (state trials)
Mid 2000's - present
Number produced
At least 30 VLS systems
HHQ-16 / Hai Hong Qi 16
Chinese for "naval red banner 16"
Notable users
China - PLA Navy



The HHQ-16 is a modern naval surface to air missile system of Chinese origin. The HHQ-16 was developed to provide medium range air defense for frigates and destroyers. The design goal was to develop a more capable system than existing HHQ-7 and Soviet Shtil-1 systems. Compared to these older systems the HHQ-16 has a longer effective range and is able to engage more targets simultaneously.


The HHQ-16 uses a vertical launch system analogous to Western systems. The missile itself is based on the Soviet 9M317ME Shtil-1 (NATO: SA-17 Grizzly) missile. The missiles are reportedly interchangeable with the land based HQ-16 system. The HHQ-16 uses the H/AKJ-16 vertical launch system. These VLS systems have 32

Fire control

Target acquisition is carried out by the ship's main air search radar. The HQ-16 surface to air missiles use semi-active radar homing. Type 345 (NATO: Front Dome) fire control radars are used to illuminate the target. One or two missiles may be fired at a single target. Currently each HHQ-16 is employed with four Type 345 radars. This allows for several targets to be engaged simultaneously.


Currently the exact capabilities of the HHQ-16 system aren't fully clear. Two types of missile seem to be in use, the shorter range HQ-16A and longer range HQ-16B. The former is said to have a maximum range of 40 km and maximum altitude of 18 km. The longer range model may reach up to 60 or 70 km and have a higher altitude of 21 to 25 km. The HQ-16 missile can be used against aircraft, helicopters and missile. It can provide point defense against inbound anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles.


To date the HHQ-16 is in use with the Chinese PLA navy only. Over 30 systems have been acquired. These can be found on the 30 Type-054A class frigates and the single Type-051 class destroyer after refit. Since the land based HQ-16 has been exported to Pakistan it is likely that the naval variant is available for export as well.


View of H/AKJ-16 vertical launch system used with the HHQ-16 naval SAM system.
Source: Baidu - © Copyright lies with original owner

Ships armed with HHQ-16

Type-054A class

The HHQ-16 serves as the medium range SAM system on the Type-054A (NATO: Jiangkai II) class of frigates. 30 of these frigates have been produced to date.

Type-051B class

During the 2015-2016 refit the single Type-051B (NATO: Luhai) class destroyer was fitted with a 32 cell VLS for the HHQ-16 naval surface to air missile.