PL-2 and its derivatives are members of a series of Chinese air-to-air missiles (AAM) originated from the former-Soviet Vympel K-13 AAM, with PL short for Pili, meaning thunderbolt. Unlike PL-2 itself, the second Chinese AAM, most of derivatives of PL-2 failed to enter mass production, with the exception of infrared guided PL-5.

Class Missile
Type Air to Air
Manufacturer Luoyang Electro-Optics Tech. Development Centre
Origin China
Country Name Origin Year
China 1970
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
China 1970 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Luoyang Electro-Optics Tech. Development Centre 1970 View

In 1962, China decided to manufacture former-Soviet Vympel K-13 AAM, and works on setting up the production line begun immediately. The main contractor to provide the production equipment was Easter Machinery Factory in Xi'an, and over two dozen subcontractors were also involved. In October 1964, Zhuzhou Aero-engine Factory of the Ministry of Aviation Industry was selected as the main contractor of the AAM, and a month later, in November 1964, work on components of the AAM started. By September 1965, all components were completed and individually tested successfully. In November 1966, the 1st batch of production was completed with 18 missiles, and other soon followed, and tests were conducted. After two major test events both completed successfully, the 1st of which was in March 1967 with firing of 19 missiles and the 2nd of which was in May 1967 with firing of 22 missiles, the missile received state certification in November 1967. 

Type air-to-air missile
Place of origin  China
Service history
In service 1970s to present
Used by China
Production history
Manufacturer Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC)
Produced 1970s to 1980s
Weight 60 to 152.3 kg
Length 2.15 to 2.99 meter
Diameter 127 mm
Warhead 11.3 kg high explosive
Detonation mechanism Impact / Proximity
Engine rocket
Wingspan 528 to 609 mm
Propellant solid fuel
Operational range 6 to 10 km
Flight ceiling 15 to 21.5 km
Speed Mach 1.6 to 2.5
Guidance system Nitrogen cooled passive InPb infrared seeker
Launch platform aerial

End notes