The Bangladesh Air Force will overhaul FM-90 short-range air defence missiles indigenously for the first time at its own facilities by extending the capabilities of the 213 MRO Unit.
After upgradation of the MRO facilities are completed, the unit will be capable of overhauling FM-90 air defence missiles that are currently held with the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The adaption of a common air defence missile system is paying dividends for the tri-services, which may lead to addition of common medium and long range air defence systems for maximum operational efficiency.
In 1998, the China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CNPMIEC) produced an improved HQ-7 with faster and longer-range missiles, with an IR-tracking camera. This version received the export designation FM-90. The system used 6×6 armored chassis instead of 4×4 of HQ-7.
The Bangladesh Navy was the launch customer of the FM-90N, while the Bangladesh Air Force followed suit in 2011. The Bangladesh Army later adopted an updated version of the FM-90 and is the largest user of the system among the Bangladeshi forces with all air defence brigades equipped with at least one unit of FM-90 SHORAD each.
The FM-90 is an all-weather surface-to-air missile system that is capable of hitting targets flying at low or very high altitudes.
The ground-based air defence weapon system features a VLSI technology-based computer, two-waveband tracking radar, an infrared camera and digital electronic technology for increased capabilities against active/passive jamming.
The system has a 25km radar detecting range, is capable of attacking three targets simultaneously by employing three different guidance modes and has anti-missile ability against ultra-low-altitude cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and anti-radiation missiles at a distance of 17km.
The missiles are capable of cruising at speeds of up to 750m/s and have an operating range of 15,000m to all targets at an altitude of 15-6,000m, along with a 70-80% single-shot hit probability.
Internet sources state the Chinese air defence system has been exported to Algeria, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, besides Bangladesh, however only Bangladesh and China adopted it comprehensively among their respective tri-services.