June 20, 2018

Quick Facts

PRC/NATO Designation HQ-12 (KS-1)

HQ-12A (KS-1A)

HQ-12C (KS-1C)

HQ-22 / FK-3

Mobility and Role Ground-based/road-mobile; short-range and medium-range air and missile defense
Range 5 – 50 km (HQ-12, KS-1A), 5 – 70 km (KS-1C), 150 – 170 km (HQ-22)


SJ-212 engagement radar; engagement range of 27 km


HT-233 radar; 50 km range OR H-200 radar; 70 km range


H-200 radar

Targets Low-flying aircraft, medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs
Status/Exports Operational; Exported to Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Designer/Producer Jiangnan Space Industry Group


The KaiShan-1 (also known as the Hong Qi-12) is the first Chinese aerial defense system to feature a phased-array radar, with each variant having a further range than the last.[i]A typical HQ-12 battery includes one planar passive phased-array radar (PPAR), four launchers preloaded with two missiles each, and 16 additional missiles, along with command-and-control and generator units.[ii]The PLA claims HQ-12 has a single-shot kill probability of 89 percent.[iii]

Differences between the variants are due primarily to different radar units: KS-1 typically uses SJ-212 engagement radar, derived from the Russian 30N6E1 Tomb Stone, which can track up to 50 targets and engage three of them at ranges up to 27 kilometers.[iv]KS-1A has used two types of engagement radar; the original HT-233 radar has a range of 50 kilometers, and the newer H-200 radar has a range of 70 kilometers and can track up to 100 targets.[v]Along with using the H-200 radar, KS-1C fires individually-launched, cannister-encased missile rounds instead of paired, rail-mounted missiles; this effectively doubles the number of potential interceptors available in each battery.[vi]

In 2016, China unveiled the advanced HQ-22 and its identical export designation, FK-3. HQ-22 is a second-generation variant of the HQ-12, which features a medium-long engagement range of 150 to 170 km.[vii]HQ-22 can reportedly destroy U.S. third-generation aircraft.[viii]It is roughly equivalent to the MIM-23 Hawk, the precursor to the American Patriot system.

Strategic Implications

The HQ-12 was primarily designed to destroy UAVs and helicopters, but its more advanced variants are also capable of destroying ballistic and cruise missiles flying at speeds exceeding Mach 3.[ix]While the original HQ-12 system is largely obsolete, the KS-1A and KS-1C offer reliable protection for Chinese military assets and coastal cities. Moreover, PLA’s developments of the HQ-22 and FK-3 should trouble the United States. The real danger lies in FK-3’s export potential, as the extended-range engagement radar and high kill probability could render U.S. allies’ third-generation aircraft inoperable in Central and Southeast Asia in the event of a conflict.


November 2016: The PLA unveils the HQ-22 and export variant FSK-3 at Airshow China 2016.[x]

September 2016: Thailand signs a memorandum of understanding to buy KS-1A from China.

February 2016: China secretly sells two KS-1A batteries—one to Turkmenistan and one to Uzbekistan.[xi]

July 2015: Myanmar receives the first batch of the KS-1A systems from China.[xii]

2007: HQ-12 enters service in the PLA.[xiii]

2005: Malaysia signs a memorandum of understanding to buy KS-1A from China.

2005: China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation unveils the KS-1A.

1998: Jiangnan Space Industry Grouppublicly unveils the HQ-12 at the Zhuhai air show.[xiv]

1994: Development is completed for the HQ-12.

1989: An HQ-12 prototype is successfully test-fired for the first time.[xv]

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