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JF-17 Thunder Multirole Fighter [Thread 4]

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fatman17

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FC-1/JF-17 Thunder Dragon/Thunder - Update


Revealed in 1995 as the successor of the cancelled Sino-US Super-7 project, FC-1 (Fighter China-1, max TO weight 12,700kg, max speed 1.8M, service ceiling 16,920m, max weapon load 3,900kg, ferry range 3,480km, combat radius 1,352km, max g load +8.5) is being developed by CAC/611 Institute (with some technical assistance from Russian Mikoyan OKB) as a "medium tech", light weight fighter/ground attack aircraft carrying a relatively cheap price tag (~$20m). As a fighter designed for export, its main customer is expected to be Pakistan who also shares 50% of the total cost (around $150m). It may also compete with second-hand F-16s to seize the market created by the retirement of Mig-21s, Mirage III and F-5s. Currently powered by a Russian RD-93 turbofan (upgraded RD-33, rated 8,795kg with a/b), it may also be powered by a locally produced WS-13 Taishan if it ever enters the service with PLAAF. An IFR probe may be installed in the future. The A-6 style "V" shaped air-intakes are believed to provide smooth air flow to the engine at high AoA. The fire control radar is thought to be a Chinese KLJ-7 X-band multi-functional PD radar in the initial batches of 8, then subsequently switched to KLJ-10 with a better performance (track 10 engage 2, look-up range 75km, look-down range 45km for RCS=3m2). A European high performance radar (e.g. Italian Vixen 1000ES AESA) has been planned in later batches. Other electronics include an NVG compatible glass cockpit with 3 8"x6" color MFDs, HOTAS, AIFF, 1553B databus and INS/GPS. Weapon load includes both short (PL-5E/PL-9C/AIM-9M) and medium-range AAMs (PL-12/SD-10). LGBs (LT-2/GBU-16), GPS/INS guided bombs (LS-6), anti-radiation missiles (Brazilian MAR-1) and laser designating pod (WMD-7) can also be carried for ground attack missions, C-802A AShM for anti-ship missions. For self-protection purpose a KG300G ECM pod can be carried. The development schedule of FC-1 was repeatedly delayed caused by various problems, such as lack of funding, the reluctance of western countries to supply advanced avionics, as well as the revised specifications set by PAF to counter the threat from India's LCAs. These specifications included a true BVR attack capability with active radar guided medium-range AAMs (SD-10). However, FC-1's prospect in the domestic market was not very promising, as PLAAF had largely committed to the more advanced J-10 as its new generation fighter along with J-11 and was reluctant to take a large number of FC-1s due to its less advanced design and a Russian engine. After lengthy negotiations, Pakistani government finally signed the contract with CATIC and CAC/611 in 1999 and gave the "go ahead" order to the much delayed project. The development was further accelerated after PAF recommitted the project and confirmed FC-1's technical specifications in detail in February 2001. A full-scale mock-up was quickly constructed. A total of 6 prototypes (01-06) would have been built at CAC. The 01 prototype rolled down the assembly line on May 31, 2003 with two small wing fences. Its maiden flight took place on August 25, 2003. The 03 prototype first flew on April 9, 2004 without the two small wing fences. The 04 prototype was expected to fly by the end of 2005 with full suite of avionics but this was delayed until April 2006 due to several structural modifications. They include new diverterless supersonic inlets (DSI/Bump) similar to those of American F-35 to reduce weight and achieve better performance. A large rectangular-shaped fairing is installed on top of the vertical tailfin which may house ECM equipment. Its flight control includes a Type 634 quadruplex digital FBW in pitch axis and a duplex analog FBW in roll axis. A UV band MAWS has been installed at the root of the vertical tailfin to provide rear hemisphere coverage. Two enlarged F/A-18 style LERX are thought to offer higher AOA as well. The first flight of 04 prototype took place on April 28, 2006, and 06 prototype on September 10, 2006. The first two preproduction JF-17s (Joint Fighter-17, 00 batch/07-101 & 102) were delivered to Pakistan on March 2, 2007, with the nose-tip pitot tube removed. The 01 batch of 6 JF-17s (08-103 -- 08-108) were delivered between March and April 2008. The contract for PAF to acquire 42 JF-17s (mostly assembled by PAC) was singed on March 7, 2009. The first two (09-109 & 110) have been built by CAC. The first JF-17 (09-111) in the batch of 4 assembled by PAC rolled out on November 23, 2009. It was reported in May 2011 that PAF plans to acquire another 50 JF-17s on an "expedited" basis and the negotiation is still ongoing. Besides Pakistan, several Asian and African countries also expressed interest in FC-1, including Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Sri Lanka and Azerbaijan. A two-seat trainer version (JF-17B?) is thought to be under development and a single-seat ground attack version has been proposed as well. In October 2008 it was rumored that PLAAF might acquire some FC-1s as a low-cost light fighter/attack aircraft to replace its obsolete J-7s and Q-5s but this has not been confirmed. The aircraft passed design appraisal in December 2009. It was reported that Egypt was negotiating with Pakistan in order to locally assemble 48 FC-1s. The first taxi test of FC-1 powered by an indigenous WS-13 took place on March 18, 2010. A recent rumor (March 2011) suggested that an improved version with a stealth optimized forward fuselage (diamond-shaped nose cross section?) is being developed. A prototype may have been flying.

- Last Updated 10/10/11
 

CallsignAlzaeem

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Work in progress.
 

Manticore

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someone has updated the jft wiki specs according to pac kamra
n8e7R.png
 
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VelocuR

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This is damn cool pictures together, both these jets are for the future of Pakistan and China! Exciting, I can't wait for newcomer J-10Bs and second Block 2 JFT !

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monitor

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Old is gold ! some old analysis for those who missed it
Munir’s Analysis

11/28/2010
Meinhaj Hussain

Following is an aggregation and summary of Brother Munir's posts in Pakdef. This is part of a series on the JF-17.Please note that this is a static page. His analysis will continue to be updated insh'Allah at this location.

Small Pipes in RD-93 Exhaust

Referring to pipes visible in this image:
http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/airforce/gallery/Farnborough2010/IMG_6517.JPG

These are possibly upgrades to make the engines less smoky. The RD-93 has very fast reaction times. The fuel-pump and gearbox has to keep pace. The fuel pump’s rpm needs to be reduced. Otherwise, more fuel goes into the combustion area than the engine can handle, causing a lack of full combustion and thus the dark smoke. Instead, one possible solution is to dump the fuel through these pipes. The top location of these pipes may be related to the RD-93s gearbox being on top as well.

An added benefit is that, with a few changes, these can be used as a smoke-system using colored diesel or as a flame torch similar to the F-111. They can also be used to dump fuel in case of an emergency.

Munir confirmed by discussing the issue with a technically qualified friend.




Reference Posts:
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010


JF-17 Aerodynamics

Vortices

Munir states that the highly visible vortices in Zhuhai [due to the extreme humidity] provide valuable information to the technically inclined observer. He analyzes that the vortices are leaving the body just before the tail because the elevators pushed the flow upwards. He notes the lower elevator responses compared to the F-16 for high G turns and implies that the LERX and the vortices play a role in explaining this.

Flaperons vs Ailerons & Flaps

Munir compares the use of flaperons in the F-16 with the use of separate flaps and ailerons in the JF-17.
Author’s note: Flaperons are single piece and combine the functionality of ailerons and flaps.

From analyzing JF-17 maneuvers, Munir notes that the JF-17 rolls fast because the ailerons are relatively far away from the center. Therefore, they need less force to achieve the same roll rate. He believes this contributes to lower RCS and energy consumption in maneuver. Munir suggests that it would be better to use a combination of elevators with the ailerons. He believes that with full FBW (Fly By Wire) the JF-17 will switch to this configuration.

Munir explains that he was not initially happy with the conventional arrangement of separate flaps and ailerons, but now, after viewing the maneuverability of the plane, believes this was a good idea. He thinks that the only negative aspect is that there is one less wing pylon on each wing. However, this may not be needed given modern net-centric warfare, 2-4 BVR AAMs can be considered enough.

Airbrakes

Munir recalls that the difference in the air brakes of the JF-17 and the F-16 has been an issue he has pondered over. He confirms that the original drawings for the JF-17s were similar to the F-16s. He believes that a disadvantage is the distance of the air brakes to the center. Another disadvantage is the higher RCS. Another issue is that the air brake location on the wings negatively impacts life. He notes that the F-16s bigger engines and the JF-17s smaller engines may result in different solutions. Munir concludes that the JF-17 solution is a good redesign.

Delta vs. Conventional – Roll Rates

Munir notes that a delta cannot role faster than an equivalent conventional design without large increases in drag which in turn causes loss of kinetic energy. The large wing areas resist movement. He points that the legacy F-5 is still one of the fastest rolling fighter aircraft. He also notes that making comparisons from an air show are of dubious value, given that the JF-17 may not be performing maximum limit roll rates.

References
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010

Multiple Rack Launchers

Munir suggests that multiple racks for dual BVRs would be an important improvement on the JF-17, giving it 4 BVRs, 2 WVRs and a gun (as well as 3 drop tanks). He suggests that for the air-to-ground role, 3-4 munitions per rack for smaller 50-100 kg smart LGBs would provide the perfect weapons load. Munir believes that with multiple racks, JF-17s can fulfill the vast majority of mission requirements.

Reference:
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010

Next Generation WVR AAMs

Munir believes the Chinese PL-10 with HMS will be comparable to the AIM-9X. The later combines the qualities of being small, having low RCS and being extremely agile. He believes this AAM strategy is superior to that of the German IRIS-T.

He also rebuts claims that the JF-17 and Erieye cannot data link.

Reference:

JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010

Munir’s Accurate Information on the SD-10B

With the recent confirmation of the SD-10B, Munir is acknowledged to have stated this in October 2009 when he posted that not only does the SD-10B exist, but also that it is already operational and has 18 km more range than the earlier model.

He adds that he is not happy with the fixed external IFR although in re-evaluation, he finds that this solution is simple and effective.

Reference:

JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010



IRST & AESA Radar

Munir notes that the IRST on the JF-17 will allow stealth related tactics in air combat using data links with AWACS and / or ground radars. Munir paints the scenario of a JF-17 with IRST travelling low, fast and in such a stealth mode can surprise the opponent. He also notes that the IRST, while increasingly popular in Europe, is in fact better suited to the environment in Pakistan; because the weather in Pakistan is a lot less foggy and cloudy, allowing optimal IRST usage.

Munir explains that the mechanical AESA will be similar to the Gripen NG’s AESA solution. He considers this to be more effective than static AESAs. Munir considers this issue as an advantage not only for the JF-17, but also for the ZDK-03 and believes that the latter is better than the Erieye.

He believes that the reason behind using Chinese radars is also to keep information about key weapons like the Ra’ad LACM and H-2 and H-4 ASMs from western weapons suppliers. He adds that Pakistan’s operation of the F-16 Block 52s will help China build a better J-10B because PAF engineers and pilots now know what to aim for with certain subsystems.

Reference:
JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010

Composites & Engines

Munir notes that composites will lower weight but also increase costs in acquisition and maintenance and increase complexity of manufacture. He believes that this makes marketing the JF-17 more flexible, with all aluminum models for lower end models and composite construction for higher end customers.

Munir believes that Pakistan may be able to acquire higher thrust engines for its Block 2 JF-17s. He points to the Russian RD-33 MK being marketed in Zhuhai. Munir indicates that a TVC equipped JF-17 can reduce drag in ACM, lower RCS due to less pronounced movement of control surfaces, shorten takeoffs and landings and do amazing aerobatics.

Reference:

JF-17 related discussion: Jan - Dec 2010
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Manticore

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ive updated the first page of jft info pool -- mostly subtle updates , however i would love input from other members on what points/articles to put on the first page-- regards and happy reading ;-)



anyone has any details on Computer-controlled fault diagnosis onboard jf-17 ?
 

Manticore

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I think he is jealous from Anti Body.:D
other than the ''Small Pipes in RD-93 Exhaust'' details , most of the info is already extracted in the jft info pool thread -- nothing to feel jealous about, ive always asked for help and advice for the info pool threads and nabil and husnain have repeatedly obliged me:)
 
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