NORINCO Red Arrow 8


Revealed in the early 1980s, the Red Arrow 8 was developed from the early 1970s and entered production in 1987. It is a second-generation wire-guided tube-launched Semi-Automatic Command to Line Of Sight (SACLOS) missile which is similar in appearance to the British Swingfire. The standard infantry version of the Red Arrow 8 system consists of four key parts, missile in its launch tube, InfraRed (IR) goniometer, guidance unit and tripod. The system can be quickly disassembled into the above four components, none of which weigh more than 25 kg. This makes the system of particular use to light infantry units operating in rough terrain. The missile is wire guided and all the operator has to do to ensure a hit is to keep his x12 optical sight on the target. Hit probability is claimed to be 90 per cent with penetration also being 90 per cent. The missile in its sealed launch tube is attached to the guidance unit which provides steering commands to the missile corresponding to deviation signals received from the goniometer and the missile. The IR goniometer is mounted on the left side of the launcher and as well as serving as a day sight also receives and modulates IR signals from the missile and feeds resulting deviation signals to the guidance unit. A night device can also be fitted. The tripod is very similar to that used for the US Hughes TOW ATGW and consists of an elevation and traverse mechanism adjustable at three firing positions. The missile has a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead which will penetrate around 800 mm of vertical steel armour. A tandem warhead has been developed. To enable targets to be engaged at night or under conditions of poor visability, the Red Arrow 8 anti-tank missile system can be fitted with a thermal imager which is mounted on the left side of the current sighting system. This has two fields of view, wide and narrow with the attached air bottle providing for 4.5 hours of operation depending on ambient conditions. The Dr A Q Khan Research Laboratories of Pakistan has developed a very similar missile to the Red Arrow 8 called the Baktar Shikan; details are given under Pakistan.


Type: wire-guided SACLOS
Missile (in tube):
(length) 1.566 m
(diameter) 0.155 m
(weight) 25 kg
Missile (out of tube):
(length) 0.875 m
(diameter) 0.120 m
(wing span) 0.320 m
(weight) 11.2 kg
Range: 200-3,000 m
Maximum speed: 220 m/s
Warhead weight: 3 kg
Armour penetration: 800 mm
IR goniometer:
(length) 0.480 m
(width) 0.150 m
(height) 0.280 m
(weight) 12.5 kg
Guidance unit:
(length) 0.665 m
(width) 0.368 m
(height) 0.350 m
(weight) 24 kg
Tripod assembly:
(length) 0.327 m
(width) 0.368 m
(height) 0.994 m
(weight) 23 kg
Traverse: 360
Depression/elevation: -7/+13

STATUS : In production. In service with the Bosnia and Herzegovina Muslim Army, Chile (limited number), Pakistan Army, People's Liberation Army and Thai Army.

APPLICATIONS : Armoured Vehicle Applications
Tracked YW531 APC (four-tube turret - People's Liberation Army)
Tracked YW534 APC (four-tube turret - People's Liberation Army)
WZ 551 (4 x 4) APC (four-tube turret - People's Liberation Army and export).

COMPANY NAME : NORINCO, China North Industries Corporation.
Dr A Q Khan Research Laboratories, Pakistan.