The striking similarity of some Chinese and Pakistani solid fuel missiles
DF-11, DF-15, DF-16, DF-25 (?) as well as Ghaznavi, Shaheen-1, Shaheen-2 & III, Ababeel

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 19.04.2019

It can not be denied, that the Pakistani solid fuel rockets Ghaznavi and Shaheen-1 are similar to the Chinese DF-11 missile type.
On photos is recognizable, that the Chinese DF-11 and DF-11A by set of some solid fuel segments are built. The DF-11 uses two segments. For the DF-11A is a third segment added.
For the Pakistani Shaheen-1 is a further half segment added. All rocket types have the same diameter of 0.88 m. The Shaheen-1 have however a striking extended skirt in the nozzle area, because the missile has another control system and a larger nozzle (?).
On photos is clearly recognizable, that also the Chinese DF-15 and DF-15A by set of several short solid fuel segments are built. Four segments uses the DF-15, and the extended DF-15A uses five segments. All rockets have a diameter of ~1.10 m. The DF-15 missile type is obviously not exported.
Unknown are the Chinese rocket variants M-9 and M-18. They are referred as export variants. So is suspected that the Pakistani Shaheen-1 corresponds to the M-9. The M-18 probably corresponds to the Pakistani Shaheen-2. The Chinese M-18 was allegedly shown at the 1987 Beijing air show. Now I have found Photos of the M-18 missile ! (see below).
The Shaheen-2 is totally different to the DF-11 and DF-15 missile types. The diameter is significantly 1.40 m. China Hexi Chemical & Mechanical Company presents solid motors for first stages with the name L-SpaB. Very capable for the Shaheen-2 is L-SpaB-140B with 1.40 m in diameter and a length of 7.15 m. For the second stage is a shorter solid motor SpaB-140 capable.
A candidate for the M-18 is the completely unknown DF-25.

It is also not known whether the Iran from China have bought M-9 or M-18 missiles. This is unlikely. The new Iranian Sejil (syn. Ashura, Ghadr 110 missile) is not of Chinese origin. It has presumably a relationship to older  Soviet technology (e.g. OKB Fakel 5Ya27 ABM). It is not known that China have builded solid rockets with a diameter of 1.25 m.


Nozzle comparison



Chinese DF-11

Pakistani Ghaznavi





Chinese DF-11A

DF-11A (is a stretched DF-11)



DF-11A without fins



Chinese "M-9" ?

Pakistani Shaheen-1

Extended DF-11A with nozzle and skirt extension

No images


Shaheen-1 with skirt extension

Shaheen-1 rear

Copy of DF-11A with nozzle and skirt extension (M-9)


Chinese DF-15

The first short variant DF-15



DF-15B rear

                                     Comparison DF-15/DF-15A


Chinese DF-15A, -B, -C, -D

DF-15A, -B, -C, -D are stretched DF-15 with various wareheads






Chinese DF-16




Chinese "M-18" (DF-25?)

Pakistani Shaheen-2, III and Ababeel

The M-18 is a two-stage missile with 1.40 m diameter
(allegedly shown at the 1987 Beijing air show)

Chinese solid L-SpaB-140B:  7.15 x 1.40 m; 15.10 t prop.; 594 kN vac




Grain mass av. Thrust sl av. Thrust vac) Isp sl/vac Burn time



15.10 t 538.0 kN 594.0 kN 240 / 265 66 sec


L-SpaB-140B str.

18.30 t 80 sec


L-SpaB-140B mod

7.55 t - 298.2 kN - / 270 67 sec


Shaheen-2 rear


New Shaheen-III
(Shaheen-2 with 1.5m extended first stage)

Three-stage Ababeel missile

Probably also as SLV usable