The striking similarity of some Chinese and Pakistani solid fuel missiles
DF-11, DF-15, DF-16, DF-17, DF-25, DF-26 as well as Ghaznavi, Shaheen-1, Shaheen-2 Shaheen-III and Ababeel

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Upload: 2015; Update: 24.07.2020

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. This class also includes the DF-16 and the DF-17ZF, but they are not exported either. The new DF-17 is identical to the DF-16. The DF-16 in turn would be derived from the DF-15A. But the solid motor with the same diameter of 1.10 m is no longer composed of segments.

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. A candidate for the M-18 is the completely unknown DF-25.
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  longer Shaheen-III is the  Chinese DF-26.



Nozzle comparison



Chinese DF-11

>>>  Pakistani Ghaznavi





Chinese DF-11A

The DF-11A is a stretched DF-11




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 warheads






Chinese DF-16

The DF-16 is a DF-15A with a new solid fuel motor that is not composed of segments


DF-16 with different warheads (normal or longer and winged)


Chinese DF-17

The DF-17 is a DF-16 with a hypersonic glider on top


Chinese DF-26


Chinese "M-18" (DF-25 and DF-26 ?)

>>> Pakistani Shaheen-2, -III and Ababeel

The unknown DF-25 is a two-stage missile with 1.40 m diameter.
The first stage of the Shaheen-III is extended by 1.5 m and could be derived from the DF-26.


There is only one small model of the DF-25, shown at the 1987 Beijing air show.








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




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

Three-stage Ababeel missile
 Probably also as SLV usable