The PL -8 is a Chinese short-range air - to-air missile.
The PL -8 is a licensed copy of the Israeli Python 3 missile. The reproduction of this missile began in 1983, after the air forces of the People's Republic of China had test fired as some Python 3 missiles and was satisfied with their performance. To get production going fast, delivered Israel 1200 sets of components to China. The missiles produced therefrom were delivered in 1988. In the course of the program, the proportion of Israeli components were gradually reduced, so that China at the end of the 1990s was the PL -8 produced completely independently.
In comparison to the predecessor models ( PL -2, PL -5, PL -7) provides the PL -8 some significant improvements. She is the first Chinese rocket that has an "All -aspect " IR seeker head. This allows it to attack enemy aircraft from all directions (including the front). Previously it was necessary to bring your own machine behind the opponent, so that the infrared seeker head could detect the hot engine exhausts of the opponent. The sensor of the PL -8 is sensitive enough to also envisage the heated air cell itself can. The hardware and software has been significantly improved, so that the rocket attack also difficult goals and respond better to evasive maneuvers can. Late versions should moreover be able to interact with a helmet- based target system. This allows the pilot to detect a target by lining up his view on this. The helmet registers the direction of view of the pilot and directed the sensor out accordingly.