The AKD-10 (Chinese: AKD-10反坦克导弹), known as Blue Arrow 7 when exported, is a Chinese air-to-ground missile developed by Institute 203 of NORINCO for ground attack operations, usually against armoured targets and sometimes fixed targets. With its rather long firing range and penetration, the missile will prove deadly to most ground targets without APS onboard.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
|Missile guidance time
|6.25 kg TNTeq
With 6.25 kg TNT equivalent of explosive in the tandem warhead, the AKD-10 can cause overpressure damage on light vehicles or alternatively jet stream with shrapnel that cause damage to crew or components.
Comparison with analogues
- AGM-114B Hellfire and AGM-114K Hellfire II: The Hellfire family has better speed and explosive equivalent while having lesser range (8km max) and burn time than the AKD-10
- PARS 3 LR: Can launch fire-and-forget strikes on targets, although lacking in other aspects compared to the AKD-10
- 9M120 Ataka : Faster than AKD-10s, but AKD-10s will outperform them in other regards.
- 9K127 Vikhr: Vikhrs fly at a much faster speed (610m/s) and burn for longer, usually resulting in faster time to target. They are also able to fuse on aircraft, greatly increasing their versatility. The AKD-10 however penetrates over 600mm more armor with an even larger warhead, making it more lethal.
- 9M123 Khrizantema : Shares a similar explosive equivalent, although also being outranged by the AKD-10 due to its 6km max range.
Usage in battles
The AKD-10 is a high-penetrating AGM for the PLAGF in-game and also the weapon of choice for the Z-10, the guidance method of the missile makes it very similar to the AGM-114s as the missiles will fly on a lofting trajectory and usually hit enemy armor top-down. It might not have as much warhead explosive mass compared to some of its NATO counterparts, but it is more than enough to blast through even the toughest tank's frontal armor. Due to the relatively slow speed of the missile (barely supersonic) and drawbacks of top-down missiles (their inability to hit targets that are too close due to missile lofting), it is better to utilize the missile at a longer distance away from the battlefield while keeping your vehicle in the blindspot of SPAAs and enemy aircraft. If the skies are clear and no enemy anti-aircraft assistance mounts, keeping a minimum distance of at least 1.5 km from the target and pointing the nose down as much as possible to compensate for the trajectory may help with accuracy at those closer ranges.
Pros and cons
- Long firing range (up to 10 km, like the Russian 9K127)
- Has a longer booster time than most top-down missiles
- Very high penetration
- Moderate explosive mass
- Slower flight speed than most helicopter-borne AGMs
- Warhead can be inconsistent with one-shots
Due to information on the development of the missile being highly classified, there is very little information on how the idea for top-down attack ATGMs was seemingly successfully developed out of the blue for the PLAGF; the development of AKD-10 is most likely to be the result of the Gulf War where the US Army's Apaches unleashed havoc upon the Iraqi forces with AGM-114 Hellfire ATGMs, sparking the need for a similar ATGM for the Project 941 (later Z-10). The missile was likely tested during the early 2000s and test-mounted on the first prototype of the Z-10. During an UAV exhibition in June 2010, NORINCO Institute 203 (Xi'an Modern Control Institute of Technology; 西安现代控制技术研究所) publicly showed off a new missile dubbed Blue Arrow 7 (BA-7) during the exhibition, and implied the domestic version of a certain model of missile has been in service with PLAGF Aviation Corps, later confirmed to be AKD-10 from photo comparisons and export catalogues. 
The missile was also served as the basis of its lightweight version: AKD-9 and Blue Arrow 9 (BA-9). BA-7 has been export to Middle East and North African countries with some scores over the skies of Libya by UAE. Due to its lacking performance, in the late 2010s, these missiles were planned to be replaced by more competent CM-502KG missiles.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- AKD-9 (Blue Arrow 9) - The AKD-10's younger brother with lighter weight and an overall smaller size
- AGM-114K - Its American counterpart and the inspiration for the AKD series AGMs
- L-UMTAS - Turkish ATGM with a similar guidance method
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
- Chen, Guangwen. “The Steel Current Blockade’- Chinese New Blue Arrow 7 Heavy ATGM.” Modern Weaponry , vol. 8, Institute 201, Beijing, 2010, pp. 22–24.