unexpected surprise! Did not wait for the Perak-21, but the Perak-17 appeared first, with a range of 500 kilometers?

Air-to-air missiles are the main air combat weapons of modern fighters. Air-to-air missiles are divided into close-range combat missiles and over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles. Close-range combat missiles do not pursue range too much, but emphasize fast response speed, strong maneuverability, small size and light weight structure. , and the beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile has the same performance as fighting missiles, such as high maneuverability, strong anti-interference ability, and accurate strike accuracy. At the same time, the range is also an important aspect to measure the performance of the beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The so-called “one inch long and one inch strong”, the farther the BVR air-to-air missile hits, the more it can grab the preemptive advantage in air combat, but it is limited by the upper limit of the mounting capacity brought by the size of the fighter body and the maneuverability of the missile at the same time. Flexibility, so the over-the-horizon air-to-air missile cannot blindly increase the size of the projectile for the range, which is one of the difficulties in improving the range of the over-the-horizon air-to-air missile.

The performance of air-to-air missiles can determine the outcome of an air battle

Starting from the PL-15, my country has successfully entered the world’s advanced ranks in the field of over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles. The range of the export-type PL-15E of the PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile has reached 145 kilometers. The range of the Chinese version of the PL-15 is considered to be up to 200 kilometers. At the same time, the PL-15 is the first in the world to use Over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles with dual-pulse engines, and the U.S. Air Force first proposed the concept of dual-pulse-engine air-to-air missiles. The U.S. Air Force plans to use dual-pulse engines on AIM-120D air-to-air missiles, but the final result is that my country’s Thunder- The 15 used a dual-pulse engine, but the rumored dual-pulse engine of the AIM-120D was eventually lost.

The U.S. military is developing the AIM-260 ultra-long-range air-to-air missile

The service of the PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile shows that my country’s air-to-air missile has gone from introduction to digestion and absorption to independent research and development, and has finally ushered in a fruitful stage. PL-15, first, my country’s air-to-air missile technology is developing, and other countries’ air-to-air missiles are also developing. For example, the R-37M air-to-air missile with a range of 300 kilometers installed by the Russian Air Force has been in service, and the US Air Force is also stepping up research and development. The AIM-260 ultra-long-range air-to-air missile, so although my country has the PL-15, the research and development of a new generation of air-to-air missiles is still urgent. Secondly, with the solid foundation and technical accumulation of the PL-15, my country has developed a new generation of beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles. The opportunity for missiles has also appeared.

The export-type Thunderbolt-15E has a range of 145 kilometers

In fact, shortly after the first public appearance of the PL-15, a photo of my country’s J-16 fighter jet carrying a new type of air-to-air missile larger than the PL-15 appeared on the Internet. 15 new types of air-to-air missiles with different shapes, netizens have been speculating that this missile is the Thunderbolt-21! After this photo appeared on the Internet, netizens were eagerly looking forward to the news that this missile would come into service as soon as possible. However, the PL-21 that netizens were thinking about was snatched up by another missile, which is the PL-17!

Photos of the J-16 with a new type of air-to-air missile appeared on the Internet around 2018

Recently, “Military Museum” released a video on the social platform introducing my country’s early Pili-2 air-to-air missiles. A section of this video is an introduction to the development of my country’s air-to-air missiles, from Pili-2 to Pili-5 to Pili- 12 and Thunderbolt-15, but after Thunderbolt-15, a Thunderbolt-17 that has never been reported before is mentioned. No matter from the sequence of the introduction of this video or the naming of the missile, this Thunderbolt-17 is obviously the successor The new air-to-air missile developed after the PL-15, some netizens analyzed that this missile is the service model of the new air-to-air missile mounted on the J-16 before, but this missile is not the PL-21 that netizens imagined. It’s Thunderbolt-17!

Screenshot of the introduction video of the “Military Museum” about the Thunderbolt-17

However, at present, there is no news to confirm that the Thunderbolt-17 mentioned in the “Military Museum” is the one that was mounted on the previous 16 fighter jets, but since the model of the Thunderbolt-17 was publicly released from the video of the “Military Museum” Come out, it shows that this missile not only exists, but has been in service! If it is a model that is not in service, the official media will naturally not display it publicly. You must know that even the official media is cautious when it comes to the introduction of my country’s new weapons and equipment. Every frame and every sentence has a profound meaning. What is revealed will be revealed, and what should not be said will never be mentioned, so this time the “Military Museum” publicly mentioned the PL-17, which means that the time for the official debut of this new missile will come soon!

PL-10 and PL-15 are the strongest combination of air combat missiles in our Air Force.

So what will be the performance of the PL-17 air-to-air missile? The development of weapons and equipment is characterized by the performance of new weapons and equipment will definitely exceed the old models, the overall performance of the new PL-17 will naturally take a new step compared with the PL-15. At a time when all countries are pursuing the ultimate range of beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles, my country’s new generation of PL-17 will inevitably exceed the range of PL-15 by a large margin. Some analysts believe that the range of the PL-17 air-to-air missile is at least 300 kilometers, and even due to my country’s accumulation of technology in dual-pulse engines, the range of the PL-17 is expected to reach 500 kilometers! Although this data is not officially announced, but at the moment when the Russian Air Force has equipped the R-37M and the United States is stepping up the development of the AIM-260, we naturally have no reason to set the range of the new generation of over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles below 300 thousand. At the level of meters, especially my country currently has sufficient technical strength to develop air-to-air missiles with a range of 300 kilometers or even longer ranges.

The R-37M weighs 500 kg and is more than three times that of the AIM-120

In addition, the new Thunderbolt-17 will definitely be enhanced compared to the Thunderbolt-15 in terms of strike accuracy, anti-jamming capability, guidance mode, and flight flexibility! Although Russia’s R-37M uses dual-pulse charge technology and increases the weight of the missile to 500 kilograms and the length to 4.2 meters to achieve a range of 300 kilometers, the missile’s strike accuracy and anti-jamming ability must not be as good as Thunderbolt. -17, because my country’s advantages in electronic technology are very obvious. As for the American AIM-260, we have already won the race between the Thunderbolt-15 and AIM-120D, and we have no reason to let the United States surpass the new Thunderbolt-17. On the whole, the PL-17 with a range of 300 to 500 kilometers will once again rank among the world’s leading fighters. Combined with my country’s stealth fighters, it will truly achieve effective killing of early warning aircraft. Under this air combat system, any early warning aircraft will be Timely early warning and evasion of strikes cannot be achieved.

PL-17 plus J-20 can effectively strike targets at ultra-long distances

Through the “official announcement” of PL-17, it can also be seen that the development of my country’s air-to-air missiles has entered an era of maturity and stability, step by step, especially over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles, from the early PL-4 to PL -11, Thunderbolt-12 to Thunderbolt-15 and Thunderbolt-17, one is more advanced in performance than the other, which reflects that my country has formed a mature and efficient research and development system in the research and development of air-to-air missiles, so this time, military fans and friends did not Don’t worry about the Thunderbolt-21. Under this mature and efficient R&D system, the arrival of the Thunderbolt-21 will be a matter of time!