The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is reportedly building a surface-to-air missile military position at its Shek Kong barracks in Hong Kong.

The latest issue of Canada’s “Kanwa Defense Review” reported that the military position will be completed at the end of the year and that it will feature a battalion of six HQ-6 surface-to-air missile trucks.

HQ-6 missiles
HQ-6 missiles.

The report said that HQ-6 missiles were exported under the name LY-60D. LY-60D consists of a surveillance radar, three tracking radars and six launcher trucks. The surveillance radar has a working distance of 50 kilometres, it can track 60 air targets and engage four threats simultaneously.

The missiles have a normal range of between 30 to 12,000 metres. Their reaction time is 14 seconds, 15 minutes to deploy the missiles and seven minutes to retreat.

The missiles may form part of a defense network with HQ-9 long range surface-to-air missiles deployed in Shenzhen, the report said.

Not reasonable, not necessary and not beneficial

Hong Kong Zhi Ming Institute
Hong Kong Zhi Ming Institute

Research Director of the Hong Kong Zhi Ming Institute and military commentator Hui Ching told Apple Daily that he has reservations about the credibility of the news, that it was not reasonable, not necessary and not beneficial to deploy surface-to-air missiles in Shek Kong barracks.

He said that the HQ-6 is a light, short ranged, low tech and low cost air defense system and that it cannot form a long range defense network.

Kanwa’s report has been cited by Chinese state media Global Times as well as Hong Kong pro-Beijing paper Wen Wei Po and Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

The Chinese language Kanwa Defense Review was launched in 2004 by the Kanwa Information Center, which was first established in 1993 in Toronto. The monthly magazine is registered in Canada but printed in Hong Kong, and is distributed and sold in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and South East Asian countries.

In November 2014, Kanwa sent a signals intelligence specialist to observe the surveillance radar of the PLA on Tai Mo Shan. It reported that the radar was not used for monitoring Hong Kong air space, but to eavesdrop on phone conversations, Wi-Fi, emails and radio communications.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.