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QW-18 (Qianwei-18) – Chinese Made MANPADS Missile Used by Hamas

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    QW-18 (Qianwei-18) – Chinese Made MANPADS Missile Used by Hamas

    Even though Gaza's airspace is controlled by Israel, it is not easy for Israel to carry out air operations there. Flashback to the incident in early January 2022, the Israeli AH-64 Apache attack helicopter group was wary of the use of MANPADS hanud missiles that were owned by the Hamas militia. 

    At that time, the Israeli AH-64 Apache helicopter which was carrying out an attack on Gaza encountered unusual resistance from Hamas, namely an attack using a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) type 9K32 Strela-2 hanud missile or also known as SAM-7.

    In this attack, the Strela missile did not hit the target and did not cause any damage to the Apache helicopter. It is not explained how the Apache was able to evade the Strela attack, however, it is common for Israeli fighter jets and helicopters to release flares to ward off infrared-guided (heat-seeking) MANPADS missile attacks.

    And continuing in the current conflict which started with a massive Hamas attack on October 7 2023, the use of MANPADS is still a scourge for the Israeli military. For example, on October 7 2023, an Israeli CH-53 Yasur heavy transport helicopter was shot down, at that time the CH-53 was said to be carrying 50 Israeli special forces.

    Unofficial sources said the crash of the CH-53 Yasur was due to Kornet anti-tank missile fire, because the CH-53 was flying low at the time. Unconfirmed sources circulating in international media also said that several Israeli AH-64 Apache helicopters had been brought down, although the cause was not yet known.

    Well, recently a social media post circulating on It is not known how the QW-18 got into the hands of Hamas, although there are allegations it is linked to weapons supplies from pro-Iran proxy groups.

    QW-18 (Qianwei-18/Vanguard-18)

    Like the Strela missile, the QW-18 is a shoulder-fired MANPADS missile and can operate in all weather. With excellent infrared anti-interference function, the QW-18 is used to attack air targets at low altitudes at a speed of no more than 300 meters per second.

    Quoted from, the superior feature of the QW-18 is a dual-band passive infrared search system to firmly lock targets with anti-jamming capabilities.

    The QW-18 is a third generation MANPADS missile made in China. The QW-18 is 1,526 meters long and the entire system weighs 18 kg, of which the launch tube weighs 4 kg and the power supply components and firing mechanism weigh 1.7 kg.

    The QW-18 has a shooting range of 5,000 meters, and a shooting height of 4,000 meters, and the missile launch speed is 600 meters per second. The minimum interception height of the QW-18 is 10 meters, which basically blocks the low-flying limit of very low-altitude targets.

    The QW-18 can be combined with other weapons to form a complete air defense system, such as a combination of anti-aircraft missile and artillery weapon systems; can also be converted into an air-to-air missile. The QW-18 is designed to be stored for 10 years, this missile can be operated at a temperature range of -40 to 60 degrees Celsius.

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