The PL-7 air-to-air missile (PL stands for Pi Li, "Thunderbolt" in Chinese, the generic designation for all PRC air-to-air missiles) is the PRC version of the French Magic R.550 missile. It is a short-range, Infrared homing missile use by Chinese fighters. It was designed by Wu Shendao, and produced at the Factory 331 (Zhuzhou Aeroengine factory).

Country Name Origin Year
China 2000
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
China View

During late 2000 and 2001, Zimbabwean BAE Hawks were reportedly armed with PL-7s for air escort missions against possible Ugandan MiG-21s during the their deployment in support of Laurent Kabila's government.


  • Length - 2.74 m
  • Diameter - 157 mm
  • Wingspan - 0.66 m
  • Weight - 89 kg
  • Warhead - 12.5 kg
  • Speed - Mach 2.5
  • Range - 0.5 to 14 km
  • Guidance - Infrared homing

End notes