Due to the prolonged delay of PL-3 AAM development, PL-3 AAM was already inadequate before its completion. A follow-up was planned to incorporate advance in microelectronics and lessons learned in the aerial combats, which is based on the feedback of Vietnam War. The reason for starting a new AAM was because of the inherit design limitation of PL-3 back then, it was difficult to incorporate the technological advances planned to be incorporated. The program was designated as PL-6 and begun in 1975, before PL-3 program was even completed. The main contractor was the 612th Research Institute (later reorganized as Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC)).
The first batch of missile was completed in 1978 and tests were successfully completed in 1979. However, PL-6 met the same fate of its predecessor, PL-3 in that during training and evaluations, it was revealed that PL-6 did not significantly outperform PL-3, and furthermore, all experience gained from PL-6 can be readily incorporated in the PL-2 improvement efforts, so there was no need to have an additional separate AAM program when the requirement could be meet by just one. Consequently, PL-6 program was drastically scaled back in 1981, and after very limited production, PL-6 was terminated in 1983.