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HHQ-9 naval surface to air missile in flight.
Source: Chinese internet - © Copyright lies with original owner

Naval SAM system
Entered service
2004 for HHQ-9A
In service
1990's - Early 2000's
Early 2000's - present
Number produced
At least 48 octuple launchers for HHQ-9A
Over 20 VLS systems with HHQ-9B capacity by 2019
Hundreds of HHQ-9 missiles produced to date
HHQ-9 / Haihongqui 9
Chinese for "naval red flag 9"
Notable users
China - PLA Navy



The HHQ-9 is a naval SAM system of Chinese origin. The HHQ-9 is the first indigenous Chinese long range naval SAM system. The design of this system is based on both the Soviet S-300F and the indigenous land based HQ-9, which is derived from the Soviet S-300P series.


The missiles in the HHQ-9 system are similar, or even identical, to the ones used in the land based HQ-9 system. The overall design of the missiles is very similar to the Soviet 5V55 and 48N6 missiles. The long sleek missiles have four fins at the base and uses thrust vector control as steering mechanism, which looks somewhat different from Soviet designs.


There is little certainty regarding guidance on the HHQ-9. Early reports indicated TVM guidance with inertial navigation augmented with mid course updates. However, given the sensor suite on the launch platforms the HHQ-9 is believed to have an active radar homing seeker.


The HHQ-9 is stated to have a maximum range of over 100 km, at least against subsonic targets at altitude. The HHQ-9 is likely to be able to engage sea skimming missiles, although minimum effective altitude is not known. The warhead on the missile is fitted with a proximity fuse.


The HHQ-9A system equips the Type-052C class of destroyers. Six of these ships were built. The HHQ-9B is used on Type-052D and Type-055 destroyers. By 2019 a total of 8 Type-052D were completed out of the 24 planned. The first Type-055 class destroyer was commissioned in 2020.



First version of the HHQ-9 naval SAM system. This variant is used on the Type-052C class of destroyers.

Launched from sextuple launchers of a similar, but smaller design as the octuple launcher associated with the Soviet S-300F. Instead of a revolving launcher design, the HHQ-9 uses an individual cover for each missile tube. Also the tubes are set at an angle, dropping the missile overboard in case rocket motor fails to ignite.

While some sources indicate that both HHQ-9 and HHQ-9A variants exist, it seems more plausible that the HHQ-9 was renamed HHQ-9A when HHQ-9B reached final development phase.


Variant of the HHQ-9 naval SAM system using a multi-purposed vertical launch system. While the VLS is capable of hot launch, the cold launch system of the HHQ-9 missile remains unaltered. This variant is used on the Type-052D and Type-055 classes of destroyers.

The HHQ-9B is reported to fire and improved missile over the HHQ-9A. Credible information on this claim is limited. It could be that both HHQ-9A and 9B use the same missile. The improved sensors on the Type-052D destroyer may provide an increased effective range.


Related articles

Type-052C class

The Type-052C (NATO: Luyang II) class of destroyers is the only class of ships equipped with the HHQ-9A naval SAM system.

Type-052D class

The Type-052D (NATO: Luyang III) class destroyer is equipped with the HHQ-9B in its 64-cell vertical launch system.