Blue Arrow 9
The Blue Arrow 9 is a Chinese laser-guided air-to-ground missile. It was introduced in Update "Danger Zone".
Export version of the PLAGF's AKD-9 missile for helicopters, the Blue Arrow 9 provides a relatively long range option to strike enemy vehicles with accuracy and sufficient damage, while players will have to get used to its relatively slow velocity and its high trajectory which is a double-edge sword of BA 9, in terms of high-angle attacks and not able to hit closer targets.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
|Maximum speed||340 m/s|
|Missile guidance time||25 secs|
|Firing range||6 km|
|Explosive mass||2.46 kg TNTeq|
|Armour penetration||800 mm|
With a tandem warhead and explosive fillers, the BA 9 can do either overpressure damage to open-topped or lightly-armoured vehicles and lethal damage against vehicle crews with its jet stream and spalling.
Comparison with analogues
Give a comparative description of missiles that have firepower equal to this weapon.
Usage in battles
As an ATGM for the Z-19E, the BA 9 was said to be similar to its domestic version the AKD-9 ATGM. Thanks to its lighter weight, even a scout helicopter like the Z-19E could carry 8 of them. The tandem warhead grants the capability to knock out tanks composite/ERA protection given it does not hit the turret front of tanks. If players do not feel confident in taking the enemy out in one hit, depending on the carrier, fire multiple missiles in a short consecutive volley to ensure the target's destruction. Its trajectory is high enough to make sure most shots land from a high angle of attack, meaning that closer targets at around 1.5 km will have a higher chance to survive as the missile doesn't have enough time to build an angle of attack. Since AAMs might not have a safe range to lock onto enemy helicopters with heat suppression systems, players can also opt for the BA 9 as a long-range alternative to AAMs against careless hovering helicopters.
Pros and cons
- Accelerates straight forward first, so it has a slight top-down trajectory
- Sufficient 7 km range to hit enemies from safer distance
- Not able to engage targets at close range
- Light explosive mass compared to other AGMs
Its development has to be traced back to PLAGF's AKD-10 ATGM. Since the AKD-10 was too heavy for helicopters like the Mi-171Sh and the Z-9W, NORINCO downscaled it at the cost of a shorter range and a lower penetration. The result was the AKD-9 and it was widely seen on the Z-9W as well as the Z-10; the BA 9 is the export version of the AKD-9 and was first seen at the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow along with the even lighter BA 7 for UCAVs.
The BA 9 currently has no overseas customer and its domestic version AKD-9 is now depleting its stock due to THE inferior performance after 2020s, along with AKD-10s and both would be replaced by new CK-502 KG AGMs.
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