The PL-7 (Chinese: 霹雳-7), a reverse-engineered version of the Matra R550 Magic 1 obtained from Pakistan, is an IR AAM exclusively for Mainland China's export jets and was introduced into the game in Update "Apex Predators".
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
|Lock range (rear-aspect)||5.5 km|
|Launch range||10 km|
|Maximum speed||3 M|
|Maximum overload||35 G|
|Missile guidance time||25 secs|
|Explosive mass||9.6 kg TNTeq|
The overall performance and appearance of the PL-7 is exactly like the Magic 1; all characteristics of the Magic 1 are retained, so players of French jets will soon find themselves at home.
The 6 kg of HBX (at 9.6 kg TNT equivalent) ensures the missile will make short work of enemy aircraft with its explosive content and shrapnel upon explosion; even if the missile doesn't hit the target dead-on, the proximity fuse will make sure the target will have a hard time returning to base.
Comparison with analogues
- Matra R550 Magic 1 - the missile that the PL-7 is based on, sharing the exact same performance.
- AIM-9G - one of the most manoeuvrable missile in US service, having impressive burn time but lacking in close range combats.
- PL-5B - Chinese domestic IR AAM with impressive thrust and slightly less overload.
- R-60 - Soviet IR AAM with excellent close-range manoeuvrability but lacks the range for farther targets.
Usage in battles
Like its French brother, the PL-7 has high G overload and combat capability within 2.5 km. If players are already used to Magics on French jets, the combination of Warsaw Pact/Chinese jets and NATO weapons will give a unique experience: the limitation of Soviet jets (such as Fishbeds) is a lack of reliable IR AAMs for longer ranges; the PL-7 ensures otherwise, as in most cases, if the enemy doesn't notice the missile or it isn't fooled by flares, the PL-7 will make sure the enemy meets their end quickly with its 35G overload after launch.
Pros and cons
- Rather high G overload
- Able to be slaved to aircraft radar
- No pre-launch overload limit
- Prone to flares
- Less effective when launched at close distance
China acquired some examples of the R.550 Magic 1 around the early 1980s, likely from Pakistan who had obtained them alongside their batches of Mirage 5s in 1979 and were unable to domestically produce their own, or from Jordan who had also imported them in 1979. Reverse-engineering of the missile was started by Factory 331 (now AECC South Industry) in March 1982, and the new PL-7 missile was the produced in 1985 and passed for certification by April 1987.
Due to its compatibility on both exported PLAAF jets and French jets, some countries such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh acquired PL-7 for their jet fighters while PLAAF opted for the PL-8 (licensed Rafael Python 3) instead. Most of these countries opted for the later PL-5EII as their new missiles, as well as new jets that would eventually replace the launch platforms of PL-7; only Iran is known to still equip these missiles in service as of the late 2010s.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- Matra R550 Magic 1 - the missile that PL-7 based on, sharing the exact same performance.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.