JF-17 “Thunder” fighter or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong jets

The PAC JF-17 Thunder (Urdu: جے ایف-١٧ گرج‎), or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong (Fierce Dragon; Chinese: 枭龙; pinyin: Xiāo Lóng), is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”, while the designation and name “FC-1 Xiaolong” by China means “Fighter China-1 Fierce Dragon”.

The JF-17 can deploy diverse ordnance, including air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, and a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon. Powered by a Guizhou WS-13 or RD-93 afterburning turbofan it has a top speed of Mach 1.6. The JF-17 is to become the backbone of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), complementing the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon whose performance it roughly matches, at half the cost. The PAF inducted its first JF-17 squadron in February 2010 and five years later 54 units were in service, and 96 units were on order, to be delivered by the end of 2018.

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The airframe is of semi-monocoque structure constructed primarily of aluminium alloys. High strength steel and titanium alloys are partially adopted in some critical areas. The airframe is designed for a service life of 4,000 flight hours or 25 years, the first overhaul being due at 1,200 flight hours.  Block 2 JF-17s incorporate greater use of composite materials in the airframe to reduce weight.

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The mid-mounted wings are of cropped-delta configuration. Near the wing root are the LERX, which generate a vortex that provides extra lift to the wing at high angles of attack encountered during combat manoeuvres. A conventional tri-plane empennage arrangement is incorporated, with all-moving stabilators, single vertical stabiliser, rudder, and twin ventral fins. The flight control surfaces are operated by a computerised flight control system (FCS), which also adjusts the slats/flaps for improved manoeuvrability. Up to 3,629 kg (8,001 lb) of ordnance, equipment, and fuel can be mounted under the hardpoints, two of which are on the wing-tips, four are under the wings and one is under the fuselage.

JF17-Thunder

JF-17 Thunder Block-II makes its first public appearance: Here

Excerpt

According to the sources, JF-17 block II will cost approximately US$30–35 million per unit.

Pakistan launched production of the JF-17 Block-II at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in 2013. The Kamra production facility was reconfigured for the production of the new version.  Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed,  chairman of PAC, earlier stated: “We will hand over 16 Block-II JF-17s to the PAF every year”, and that the manufacturing plant has the capacity to produce 25 units in a year.”

JF-17 weapon load:

  • CM-400AKG – Hypersonic Carrier Killer
  • Ra’ad – Stealth Stand off Cruise Missile (Nuclear Capable)
  • C-802AK – Multirole Attack Cruise Missile
  • SD-10A – Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile
  • MAR-1 – Anti Radiation Missile
  • MAA-1, AIM-9L/M, PL-05EII – Within Visual Range Air to Air Missile
  • CBU-100 – Anti Armor Cluster Bombs
  • GBU-10/12 – LT-2 – Laser Guided Smart Munitions
  • LS-6 – GPS Guided Direct Attack Munitions
  • H-4 –  long ranged (120+ km) Stand of weapon
  • HAFR-1– Anti Runway Bomb
  • Takbir Satellite Guided Stand off Munition
  • LS-Series – Satellite Guided Glide Munitions

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Cockpit

The man-machine interface of JF-17 Thunder is kept very simple and flexible at the same time too. The cockpit consists of three Multi functional displays (MFDs) supported by a smart Heads Up Display (HUD). The symbology and functionality of the controls is kept very much similar to SAAB’s Gripen aircraft – an aircraft evaluated by PAF in the past. Implementation of HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) is visible in the design. The commonalty of the cockpit helps in decreasing time and training costs thus making a speedy fighter conversion to the aircraft.

FC-1_cockpit JF-17 Thunder cockpitGripen-C-cockpitComparision of Saab Gripen cockpitjf-17_thunder_understanding-_cockpitA detailed labeled illustration of JF-17 cockpit.jf-17_thunder_stickJF-17’s stick with buttons for weapon release (red one), missile override (top right), display management (top-left), countermeasures management (front bottom). Options included on the other side of stick are communication switch, air-to-ground mode selection, trigger, cursor control etc.jf-17_thunder_right_aux_panelThe right auxiliary control panel includes various types of sensors information including secondary voice communication panel, avionics power management, aircraft data storage and transfer management, cockpit lights management and HUD management options.jf-17_thunder_icp_panelA labeled picture of JF-17’s Integrated Control Panel (ICP), data entry display and Multi Functional Displays (MFD). JF-17’s cockpit has three 6X8 inch wide MFDs. The information displayed on all these MFDs is interchangeable and pilot can easily switch information among them.jf-17_thunder_hudA labeled picture of JF-17’s Heads Up Display (HUD). The symbology and functionality of the controls is kept very much similar to SAAB’s Gripen aircraft.jf-17_thunder_smart_heads_up_display_avtrA close up of front instrumentation panel that includes Smart Heads Up Display(S-HUD), cockpit audio recorder and Airborne Video Tape Recorder (AVTR). The elevated design of this panel also helps in decreasing the sun flare from entering the cockpit.jf-17_thunder_martin_baker_pk16lePK-16LE MK16 ejection seat also has an ejection sequencer, which manages the separation time of ejection seat and parachute of the ejectee pilot. The main features of PL-16LE MK16 are the rearward firing headbox, leg restraints and enhanced cushions. Beneath the seat cushions are the pilot’s survival kit which includes a rescue flares, small boat, medicine, food and some other accessories.jf-17_thunder_pakistan_air_force_china_kamra_cockpit_hud_pilot_02

Weaponry

Internal armament comprises one 23 mm (0.91 in) GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon mounted under the port side air intake, which can be replaced with a 30 mm (1.2 in) GSh-30-2 twin-barrel cannon

JF-17_Myanmarzhuhai14-14JF-17-C-802Weapons package of the JF-17 on display at Zhuhai Airshow 2014. Of prominence are C-802AK Anti-Ship missile (first picture – above ), GB-600 Stand-Off-Weapon (SOW) and C-102 Anti-Radiation Missile. CM-102 is a Anti-Radar Missile with range of 100km. It has high hit accuracy and a 80kg warhead. PAF has already inducted the Brazillian origin MAR-1 ARM for its JF-17 fleet.jf-17_thunder_block2_inflight_refuling_probeArtistic impression of JF-17 Block-II with in-flight refueling probe. The aircraft is equipped with GBU-12 LGBs and  WMD-7 Pod on centerline station with CCS marking.jf-17_thunder_gs-6_stand_off_missileArtistic impression of the JF-17 Block-II formation employing 500kg GB-6 SOW. GB-6 is a 500kg bomb guided with GPS/INS system. It can be used for large-scale ground targets such as vital enemy installations.

JF-17 can carry three external fuel tanks (2x 1100 L under wing and 1X 800 L centerline fuel tank) both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground role.

The maximum range (3,000km) in a High-High-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 2 x SD-10A MRAAM + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

The maximum range (1,200km) in a Medium-Low-Low-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 4 x 250kg bomb + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

JF-17 has a maximum take-off weight 27,336 lb (12,400kg), maximum external stores weight of 8820lbs (4,000kg)

Weapon Length Diameter Weight
WMD-7 pod 2.700 m 0.390 m 280 kg
C-802A 6.392 m 36 cm 715 kg
Ra’ad ALCM 4.85 m 1100 kg
H-2/4 SOW 3650 mm 38 cm H-4: 1200 kgH-2: 980 kg (2,160 lb)
MK-82 bomb 87.4 inches (2,220 mm) 10.75 inches (273 mm) 227 kg (500 lb)
MK-84 bomb 129 in (3280 mm) 18 in (458 mm) 925 kg (2039 lb)
LT-2 3580mm 380mm 570kg
LT-3 3.58m 0.38 m 564 kg
LS-6 (500 kg) 300mm 377mm 540kg
PL-5E SRAAM 2.893m 0.127m 83kg
SD-10A MRAAM 3,850mm 203mm 180kg
AIM-9L Sidewinder 2850 mm 127mm 85.3kg
MAR-1 ARM 4.03 metres (13.2 ft) 0.23 metres (0.75 ft) 274 kilograms (600 lb)
291210-jfjf-1321188287-682-640x480JF-17 Thunder Pakistan Air Force PAF C-802A Anti-ship Missile SD-10A BVRAAM PL-5E II WVRAAM 500 kg LS-6 Satellite Inertially Guided Bomb LT-3 LT-2LS-500J Laser HAFER H-4PGM RAAD MAR-1 (1)LS-6 Precision Guided Glide Bombjf-17_thunder_c-802_loadC-802 Anti-Shipping Missilejf-17_thunder_mar1_anti_radar_loadMAR-1 Anti Radiation Missilejf-17_thunder_hafr_runway_bomb_loadHafr Runway Penetration BombJF-17 Thunder Pakistan Air Force PAF C-802A Anti-ship Missile SD-10A BVRAAM PL-5E II WVRAAM 500 kg LS-6 Satellite Inertially Guided Bomb LT-3 LT-2LS-500J Laser HAFER H-4PGM RAADH-2/4 Stand-Off Weapon jf-17_thunder_raad_loadRa’ad Air Launched Cruise Missilejf-17_thunder_wmd_7_electro_optic_targeting_pod_loadedGBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb and WMD-7 Electro Optic Targeting podNQQNeThe Divert-less Supersonic Inlets DSI’s relatively small size helps in reducing the radar cross section thus help in decreasing the radar cross section of the aircraft. Safety markings for ground crew are also visible on both sides of the intake.jf-17_thunder_drouge_rwrRadar warning receiver (RWR) systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems near the drogue chute 

Pakistan wants to upgrade JF-17 fighter with Thales’ Damocles targeting pod: Here

DAMOCLES – Multi-function Targeting pod

Multi-function pod with a laser designation function to provide a day/night smart weapons guidance capability as well as a full suite of sensors for navigation and airto-
air target identification roles.

Currently in service, combat proven and integrated on Mirage 2000, Mirage F1, RAFALE, SEM, SU-30, Tornado and Typhoon.

DAMOCLES – Multi-function Targeting pod @thalesgroup.com

MISSIONS

Air-to-Ground

  • Compatible with laser guided weapons, INS/GPS guided missiles and imagery-guided weapons
  • Attacks in autonomous or cooperative mode, using integrated laser spot tracker and laser marker
  • Long range damage assessment capability
  • Target recognition capability
  • 3D localisation
  • Integrated navigation FLIR

Reconnaissance

  • Medium range day/night small targets reconnaissance Air-to-Air
  • Day/night visual airborne target identification

KEY FEATURES

  • Powerful laser and high resolution imagery provide the aircraft with a stand-off range and tactical ground/air defence system survivability
  • Advanced technology featuring state-of-the-art staring array detector effective at long range
  • Robust new generation tracking systems
  • Superior image processing

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Imagery

  • 3rd generation detector
  • Spectral band: 3-5 μm
  • Field of View:

– Wide FoV: 4° x 3°

– Narrow FoV: 1° x 0.75°

– Electronic magnification: x2

Laser range-finding

  • Wavelength: 1.5 μm
  • Eye-safe

Laser designation

  • Wavelength: 1.06 μm
  • STANAG 3733

Laser spot tracker

  • Wavelength: 1.06 μm

Laser marker

  • Wavelength: 0.8 μm
fiches_damocles-gb_sans_repere-hdDAMOCLES – Multi-function Targeting pod @thalesgroup.com

Engines

The RD-93 is known to produce smoke trails. The Guizhou Aero Engine Group has been developing a new turbofan engine, the WS-13 Taishan, since 2000 to replace the RD-93. It is based on the Klimov RD-33 and incorporates new technologies to boost performance and reliability. A thrust output of 80 to 86.36 kN (17,980 to 19,410 lbf), a lifespan of 2,200 hours, and a thrust-to-weight ratio of 8.7 are expected. An improved version of the WS-13, developing a thrust of around 100 kN (22,000 lbf) (22,450 lb), is also reportedly under development.

jf-17_thunder_exhaust_idle_1_rd-33_turbofan_engine (1)JF-17 Thunder has a modified RD-33 engine capable of producing 79-98kN of thrust.ws13vsrd93Comparison between WS-13 and RD-33

Various countries including Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Uruguay have shown interest in the JF-17

JF-17 Radar

A Chinese radar KLJ-7  has been selected for the initial batch of JF-17s.

klj7

KLJ-7 is a multi–function X-band Pulse-Doppler fire control radar. It was developed by Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology (NRIET), also known as the China Electronics Technology Company’s (CETC’s) No. 14 Research Institute.

Specifications:

  • Frequency: X band
  • Operation range (RCS of 5 m2) :
    Up-looking detection range >105KM
    Down-looking detection range >85km
  • Management of up to 40 targets
  • Numbers of simultaneously tracked targets: 10
  • Simultaneously fire on 2 BVR targets
  • Weight: <120 kg
  • Meantime between failure: 220 hours
  • Meantime to recovery: 0.5 hours

Features:

  • Guidance for medium/long range missiles.
  • All waveform design.
  • Air/air, Air/ground, air/sea and navigation functions.
  • Compact structure.
  • Parasitic IFF antena on radar anetnna array.
  • Low sidelobe slotted plane array antenna technique.
  • High-speed parallel digitial signal processing.

14 Operational Modes:

  • Range While Search (RWS)
  • Velocity Search (VS)
  • Single Target Track (STT)
  • Track While Scan (TWS)
  • Dual Target Track (DTT)
  • Situational Awareness Mode (SAM)
  • Air Combat Mode (ACM)(with five sub-modes)
  • Real Beam Map (RBM)
  • Doppler Beam Sharpening (DBS)
  • Ground Moving Target Indication/Ground Moving Target Track (GMTI/GMTT)
  • Air to Ground Ranging (AGR)
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Sea Single Target Track (SSTT)
  • Beacon (BCN)

Performance

Estimated Cost:

Block 1 USD 25 million

Block 2 USD 28 million

Type KLJ-7A airborne AESA radar for JF-17 Block III

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JF-17 Block III model

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Source: Wiki and PAF wall papers blog

Updated Feb 16, 2017

Block II with refueling probe

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Twin seat version

twin st jf17JF-17 VS LCApac_jf-17_thunder_cac_fc-1_xiaolong_b338080b104d7c4a194d566f622791f3

F-16 Fighting Falcon: Details

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13 thoughts on “JF-17 “Thunder” fighter or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong jets

    1. Nicky

      I’m not surprise that China & Pakistan is not doing a Road show to showcase the JF17 to those small to Middle sized countries who are on a tight budget. Heck, even Laos & Cambodia would be prime candidates for the JF-17.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. nonothai Post author

    Yes Gripen is more expensive than SU30 because the Thai package included huge amount of missiles. 12 Gripen plus 2 EAW Saab 340 and 2 Saab 340 came to about USD1.2 billion. Before they chose the Gripen they were looking at SU30s but the RTAF have a dislike to large fighter planes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Qasim

        The aim with the JF-17’s design was to provide a skilled pilot with a chance of success, even against aircraft that cost double the price.

        Take the SU-30. It has a much bigger airframe and can carry more fuel and weapons. But it’s large size gives it a *HUGE* RCS(Radar Cross-Section, meaning it’s easier to detect, even from longer ranges). So there’s always a trade-off, the JF-17 design went for a smaller airframe, but the weapons and avionics it packs are pretty comprehensive.

        Take for example it’s radar – the NRIET KLJ-07. It’s very similar to the J-10’s radar design, only the sender/reciever dish is smaller. It has comprehensive radar-modes for many different situations, including sea-targeting, “beacon mode”(for homing in JF-17s or other friendly aircraft towards a high-value target, tracking multiple air targets, track-while-scan, etc. So the little warplane’s functions have been thought through pretty thoroughly.

        Pakistan faces a much larger foe(India), and we’ve had multiple wars over Kashmir(disputed region the British left, all of Pak’s rivers can be controlled from there). The Airforce is trained to go up against numerically superior enemies, so the JF-17 really needed to deliver. The Pak Airforce also flies the latest American Block-52 F-16s, and we’ve had demonstrations(inside Pakistan as well as Airshows in Turkey, Britain, France and Dubai) where the JF-17 showed itself pretty evenly-matched against the latest F-16s.

        As I said, it packs enough power to give a well-trained pilot a fighting-chance even against costlier or bigger planes.

        Like

      2. Nicky

        That’s why I see the JF-17 fill a niche for places such as Africa, Central America and South America. It’s those places who can’t afford Western or Russian prices.

        Like

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