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05 December 2005

Sino-Pakistani fighter improved

By Robert Hewson Editor, Jane's Air-Launched Weapons

The joint Sino-Pakistani FC-1/JF-17 light multirole fighter aircraft has undergone a major redesign, including changes to its air intakes as well as the wing-fuselage join and rear fuselage section. The fourth prototype with the modifications has completed three months of trials.

The Chengdu FC-1, which will also be manufactured by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) as the JF-17, is an export-orientated programme under joint development by the two countries. The fourth prototype (TP4) with new features is well into its test programme while a fifth aircraft is being used for static testing (along with the second prototype).

The PAC is establishing its own facility to build the aircraft and has been importing specialist machine tools from suppliers in Sweden, and elsewhere, to set up a better production line than the one already established at Chengdu. Work on the first PAC aircraft is expected to begin in 2006.

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