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Author Topic: Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?  (Read 6912 times)

Offline Webmaster

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Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?
« on: June 29, 2010, 02:09:46 PM »
The FC-1 or more commonly referred to as JF-17, the designation used by the Pakistan Air Force, seems to be a useful light fighter and one of the few, but growing, Chinese aviation industry success stories. Developed jointly with Pakistan, the PAF has had much input and ended up with a perfect solution for its air force and F-7/A-5 and eventually Mirage III/5 replacement. As far as Pakistan goes there's much to be said for the aircraft, and local production is gearing up, as well as plans to equip it with Western avionics, radar in particular. But what about China?

It was thought the FC-1 would also equip the PLAAF and provide a replacement for the J-7/Q-5. But there hasn't been any production for China (yet). Authors have explained this by the following reasons, they have a point, but this seems only speculation:
- PLAAF low-high fightermix consists of J-10 and J-11, and the FC-1 performance is under those of the J-10. As attack plane, it's surpassed by the JH-7, and for trainers there's specialised planes in production or under development. Thus there's no requirement for this small fighter jet in China.
- The foreign Russian RD-93 engine may worry decision-makers and the local WS-17 turbofan development is not going to plan. It didn't stop the J-10...

Will the FC-1 end up as China's F-5? A low-cost solution for allies/exports, but overshadowed by the F-16-like J-10 in its own country?

Or can we expect PLAAF FC-1 production to commence eventually? With RD-93 engine soon, or later with WS-17, once they've figured it out?

If it doesn't enter the PLAAF fighter regiments, maybe we'll see the FC-1 in specialised roles, principally DACT, but possibly also Recce? Or does it have carrier potential, it's small... and the PLAN is planning a carrier fleet.
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Offline shawn a

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Re: Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 09:57:46 PM »
My guess is NO.
They will want the superior performance of the J-10, and cost is probably of no concern to them since WE are paying for it!
Shawn A

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Re: Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 03:43:02 AM »
Ah, but you forget they can't spend the money they invested in US bonds... and selling them is not a good idea at the moment, I think even communists know that much about capitalism, lol... You know how you could even out the trade balance right... sell them F-22s!  :P


But seriously... China‚Äôs official military budget will rise by 7.5 percent in 2010, half the official increase in recent years and the first to fall below 10 percent since 1989. Other social programs (in light of economic recovery) have taken priority over defense, they say.  But costs must be of some concern this time, PLA and PLAN want new equipment too. And it probably always has been, despite increases recent years which were partly needed due to inflation. Otherwise they could have placed massive orders for Russian-built planes, instead of doing it themselves. That said, these two planes must be quite cheap to build in China for China, and probably the incremental unit cost of a J-10 is coming pretty close to what the FC-1 would cost in initial batch, despite size and tech difference. Maybe they'll recognize lower life cycle costs as a reason to pick it over more J-10s. They can't possibly afford to replace J-7/J-8 one-for-one with J-10/J-11, financing cost of production may be easy, but their upkeep and operation...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:49:02 PM by Webmaster »
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Offline shawn a

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Re: Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 07:06:24 AM »
But they can spend the money that I and robert gates sent them for our shoes and kitchen appliances and computers and LEDs, etc.
Perhaps it would be wise to sell them-22's or -35's infected with a fatal flaw like my 3 latest cameras from them seemed to have!
Shawn A

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Re: Will China build FC-1s for the PLAAF?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 12:48:04 PM »
Nah, even with your theory, then they should still get some if it's as great as PAF says it is. There may be something wrong about this thing, and I'm not buying the engine or "trainers under development" excuse. Either something is wrong here, or they'll get some later. The design has perhaps been compromised too much by PAF wishes? It's certainly limited in all respects, even some trainers out there are looking better on paper, if it weren't for the BVRAAM capability. Klimov engine burn rate too high for decent endurance/range, hmm it did fly all the way to the UK... Underpowered in non-afterburning mode?

Btw, WS-17 in my previous post, hmm, should be WS-13?
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