Project Super Seven, Formally FC-1
Official Name: "FC-1" (Fighter China-1) Code Name: "Super-7"
Pakistani Name: "JF-17" (Joint Fighter-17) Code Name: "Thunder"
Type: Single Seat Multirole Day/Night Fighter
Project Super Seven, which is formally known as FC-1 is designed to further meet Pakistan Air Forces tactical and strategic needs with the least
reliance on imports from other countries. In addition to that to design a plane that meets its on requirements with lots of room for upgrades and with
export options. Super Seven is considered to be Medium-tech or possibly low-high-tech class.
The project was initiated in February 1992, by China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) who officially invited the PAF to invest
in the Super-7 program. In return for full participation in design and development phase, with exclusive co-production rights. After careful
consideration Pakistan Air Force (PAF) decided to go ahead with is project and got the Government approval in October 1994.
This project is a joint venture between Pakistan Air Force and China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation along with Chengdu Aircraft
Industry Corporation (CAC). Research and Development cost of this project is between 450 to 500 million US dollars This multi-million dollar project
is financed up to 50%-59% by government of Pakistan. Estimated cost per air craft will be around 15-20 million US dollars which makes it excellent
option for export market.
Super Seven is a light weight, multi-role day-night, all weather fighter with max TO weight 12,700kg, max speed 1.6M, ceiling 16,500m, max weapon load
3,900kg, range 3,000km. It uses Russian RD-93 turbofan engine, which is an upgrade of RD-33, this RD-93 turbofan engine is also used in Russian MiG-29
it is claimed to 80-85% as capable as American F-16 and highly aerial maneuverability as its key features. RD-93 engine used in FC-1 is build in China
with Russian license. The aircraft can also be fitted with an in-flight refueling probe and a deck arrester hook. This will increase its striking
range beyond 3,000km.
FC-1 will be fitted with Italian Grifo S-7 fire-control radar. The Grifo S-7 radar system is specially designed for the FC-1 it has 25 working modes
and a non-break-down time of 200 hours. Grifo S-7 radar system is capable of look-down, shoot-down, as well as for ground strike abilities. Pakistani
sources also suggest that Pakistan is mostly looking into western avionics to further improve FC-1's capabilities. In addition to that it includes
new digital dual fly-by-wire (FBW) system and a true Beyond Visual Range (BVR) attack capability.
FC-1 include a 25° field of view HUD, two multi-functional displays and INS/GPS (Global Positioning System).
Super Seven is designed to be fitted with vast array of weaponry. It has a total of seven store stations, one under the fuselage and six under the
wing with a maximum weapon load of 3,800kg.
FC-1s primary air to air weapon is a medium range SD-10 Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile. Other weapons it can carry are short and medium range AAMs
(Anti-Air Missiles) like AIM-9P/PL-9/Magic 2 and PL-11/Aspide/AIM-7E etc. In addition to that it can carry wide array of high and low drag bombs,
laser guided bombs, runway penetration bombs and cluster bombs for air strikes.
FC-1/JF-17 prototype (serial number "01") conducted its first official test flight on September 3rd, 2003. The plane took off from Wenjiang Airport
in Chengdu and stayed in air for about eight minutes. This prototype rolled out from the assembly line on 31 May 2003. On 1 July the it completed its
first taxi run test at the test airfield in CAC.
Pakistan Air Force is going to receive ten of these in coming months to complete its own testing. Prototype "02" and "03" are in there final
stages and PAF is expected to receive them soon. FC-1/JF-17 is to go under serial production by January 2006.
Pakistan Air Force has announced that it will include 150 of these planes at the same time China announcing that it will induct 200 of these planes
into its Air Force. Once the work is completed on this deadly plane, it will create a new dimension in air combat standards. It will not only allow
Pakistan to build this plane with its own recourses within the country but at the same time opening a huge export market.
Wingspan 9.00 m
Height 5.10 m
Length 14 m
Weight Empty 6,321 kg, Normal take-off 9,100 kg, Max take-off 12,700 kg, Max weapon payload 3,800 kg
Max. Weapon Load 3,600 kg
Max. Speed Mach 1.6
Range Ferry range 3,000 km; Operational Radius 1,355 km
Service Ceiling 16,500 m
G Limit 8.5
My opinion of the FC-1.
i think that this fighter will be inducted in the PLAAF in limited numbers just to beef up the PLAAF so they can retire the obsolete j-6s and early
Not very expensive