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Saturday, November 18, 2006

IDC F-CK Ching-Kuo

The AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo is a Chinese-American light fighter aircraft that is used by, and was developed for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force, it entered active service in 1994, with a total of 131 production aircraft manufactured (production ended in 1999).
It was developed as the Indigenous Defence Fighter, though it was a joint effort between Taiwanese (ROC) and U.S. Defense companies. As a result many aspects of the aircraft were influenced by F-16 Fighting Falcon, as well as F-5 (also used by the ROC). The major U.S. engineering and development subcontractors were General Dynamics (F-16 designer), Hughes, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation who worked with Taiwanese counter parts. Other parts were directly purchased from Lear Astronics (Later BAE), Litton (Later Northrop Grumman), and Martin-Baker. Final assembly was by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation based in Taichung, in ROC.

The IDF program started when purchase of the F-20 Tigershark ran into political problems. The preliminary search for ROCAF's F-5 and F-104 replacement began in the late 1970s. After US established formal relation with People's Republic of China and ended the Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan, President Chiang Ching-Kuo decided to expand the indigenous defense industry and ordered AIDC to work on an indigenous high-speed interceptor.
The IDF was designed to counter the PLA's J-8 / J-7 / newer fighters such as J-12, and was intended to have performance on par with the F-16 and Mirage 2000. The greatest difficulties were encountered by the propulsion group in attempting to develop or acquire advanced jet engines suitable for a fighter aircraft. There is also speculation that the use of weaker engines was due to political rather than technical reasons, namely that US did not want to see Taiwan to provoke PLA and thus mandated IDF to have "range no greater than F-5E" and "ground attack capability no greater than F-16".
After IDF's role changed from high-speed interceptor to air superiority fighter at the end of 1982, the engine requirements changed as well. ITEC completely redesigned TFE-1042-7 into TFE-1042-70, for example, bypass ratio was changed from 0.84 to 0.4.

In 1988, ITEC decided to invest in the 12000 lb TFE-1088-12, which was re-designated as TFE-1042-70A. Preliminary study had shown that IDF could supersonic cruise with the new engine. At the same time, GE decided to enter the market with J101/SF, a smaller version of F404. However after the IDF order was cut in half from 250 to 130 in 1992, the TFE-1088-12 engine upgrade plan ended as well. Since then, there are many rumors of AIDC completing engine upgrade research in private, but no direct public announcement of IDF fleet engine upgrade was ever made officially by either ROCAF or AIDC.

Like Tien Lei, the Tien Chien project is shrouded in secrecy. CSIST's Tien Chien is somewhat a more independent plan, since it is considered by some officials to be a development for all ROCAF aircraft rather than IDF only. Tien Chien 1 (TC-1) is a short range IR missile similar to AIM-9 external configuration. Tien Chien 2 (TC-2) is an active radar homing Beyond Visual Ranage missile claimed to be in the AIM-120 class.
The first test firing of TC-1 was made by F-5E in April 1986, with the Beech target drone successfully destroyed. Initial production of TC-1 began in 1989, and entered service in 1991. Both AIM-9 and TC-1 appeared on operational IDFs.

40 pre-production TC-2s were produced in response to the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis, as part of many emergency measures. 210 production TC-2s are planned. The production status and timeline is unknown.

After ROCAF annunced the intention to purchase F-16C/D as a stop gap measure in 2006, media widely reported that existing F-CK-1s would become trainers after new F-16s enter service. In response to a legislator's question in May 2006, Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Operations and Planning, Lt. General Cheng Shih-Yu said that Ministry of Defense indeed plans to retire F-5E/F by 2010 and let IDF to takeover the trainer missions.

General characteristics

Length: 14.21 m (46 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 9.46 m (31 ft 0 in)
Height: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 24.2 m² (260 ft²)
Empty weight: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb)
Loaded weight: 9,072 kg (20,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 12,000 kg (27,000 lb)


2× TFE1042-70
Dry thrust: 27 kN (6,000 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 42 kN (9,500 lbf) each

Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
Range: 1,100 km (600 nm, 680 mi)
Service ceiling: 16,800 m (55,000 ft)

Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 cannon
Missiles: 2× Sky Sword I , 2× Sky Sword II , Wan Chien cluster bomb

Radar: 1× GD-53 X-band pulse doppler

Effective scanning range:

Look down: 39 km (24 mi)
Look up: 57 km (35 mi)


(Adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )

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JF-17 Thunder (FC-1 Fierce Dragon)

The Joint Fighter-17 (JF-17) Thunder, or Fighter China-1 (FC-1) Fierce Dragon (in China), is a single-seat multirole fighter aircraft co-developed by Pakistan and China.
The JF-17 is designed to further meet the tactical and strategic needs of the Pakistani Air Force with a minimal reliance on imports from other countries. In addition, the requirement was for the aircraft to have sufficient space for future upgrades and/or equipment specified by export buyers. The JF-17 is considered to be in the "high-tech class" of fighter aircraft.The JF-17 is being built by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC)and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). Initial reports claimed that the aircraft was based on the design of the MiG-33, a proposed single-engined version of the MiG-29, which was rejected by the Soviet Air Force. However, the FC-1/JF-17 is instead derived from the "Super Seven" project, not the Project 33 (not to be confused with the MiG-33) or the failed Chengdu J-9. Indications are that MiG assisted the program by contributing their light fighter design as well as providing additional design & development assistance.The project is expected to cost about $500 million (USD), divided equally between China and Pakistan, while each individual aircraft is expected to have a fly-away cost of $15-20 million. The project became known as JF-17 in Pakistan and FC-1 in China.

Pakistan has announced that it will procure 150 but, numbers can easily go up to 200. The JF-17 will replace the MiG-21-derived Chengdu F-7. Other countries which have expressed interest in purchasing the JF-17 are Egypt, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Burma, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Algeria.

The first prototype was rolled out on 31 May 2003, conducted its first taxi trials on 1 July, and made its first flight on 24 August of the same year. The prototype 03 made its first flight in April 2004. On April 28 2006, the prototype 04 made its first flight with fully operational avionics.
The JF-17 Thunder combat jet is a multi-role fighter-bomber and is capable of carrying multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. The fighter jet is equipped with advanced electronics and weapons systems. The ability to undertake short take-offs and landings is also incorporated in the aircraft
Not to mention the most visible change, the DSI (divergent supersonic intake).

Initially, Pakistan wanted to use the Italian Grifo-S7 radar. However, the Chinese offer had some key advantages over the Italian one, such as compatibility with Chinese weapon systems.
Radar has multiple modes, such as A2A (both BVR & close), air-to-ground, air-to-sea, etc., with strong anti-interference capacity.
It has all the standard electronic warfare systems, such as radar warning, missile approach warning, etc.
All weapon systems are designed to be compatible with both Western systems (ie. supporting MIL-STD-1760 data bus) and Russian systems (and Chinese systems also). At present, its standard missiles are the PL-9C for WVR combat and SD-10 BVRAAM for BVR combat. However, it also supports the AIM-9L/M Sidewinder, AIM-7F Sparrow. It is reported that Pakistan Air Force JF-17s will also be able to use South African air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions such as T-Darter (BVRAAM), A-Darter (WVRAAM), DPGM (Precision Guided Bomb), as well as Raptor-I and Raptor II long-range glide bombs.

Specifications JF-17 Thunder

14.97 m
Wingspan: 9.46 m
Height: 4.77 m

6,411 kg
Loaded weight: 10,072 kg
Maximum takeoff weight: 15,474 kg
Maximum landing weight: 7,802 kg
Maximum internal fuel weight: 2,268 kg
Maximum external payload weight: 4,629 kg

Max payload (fuel and weapons): 7,063 kg

One Russian-made RD-93 turbofan, rated 89.4kN dry or 121.4kN with afterburning. The RD-93 is modified RD-33 for Chinese & Pakistani Airforce.

Maximum Speed:
Mach 2.2
Range on internal fuel: Ferry range 2,537 km; Combat Radius ~900-1200 km
Service Ceiling: 20,500 m

Missiles: SD-10 long-range air-to-air missile, two short-range AAMs


(Adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )

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HAL Tejas

The HAL Tejas (Sanskrit: "Radiance") is a lightweight, supersonic multirole fighter aircraft being developed by India. It is a tailless, compound delta wing design powered by a single engine.

The LCA programme was launched in 1983 for two primary purposes. The principal and most obvious goal is the development of a replacement aircraft for India's ageing Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighters. The LCA programme's other main objective is to serve as the vehicle for an across-the-board advancement of India's domestic aerospace industry.
One of the most ambitious requirements for the LCA was the specification that it would have "relaxed static stability". Most aircraft are designed with "positive" static stability, which means they have a natural tendency to return to level and controlled flight in the absence of control inputs; however, this quality tends to oppose the pilot's efforts to maneuver. An aircraft with "negative" static stability, on the other hand, will quickly depart from level and controlled flight unless the pilot constantly works to keep it in trim; while this enhances maneuverability, it is very wearing on a pilot relying on a mechanical flight control system. What made RSS practical was a new technology - the "fly-by-wire" flight control system - which employs flight computers to electronically keep the aircraft's instability in check whenever it is not desired.

Another critical technology area tackled for indigenous development by the ADA team is the Tejas' Multi-Mode Radar (MMR). It was initially planned for the LCA to use the Ericsson Microwave Systems PS-05/A I/J-band multi-function radar,[11] which was developed by Ericsson and Ferranti Defence Systems Integration for the Saab JAS-39 Gripen;[12] however, after examining other radars in the early 1990s,[13] the DRDO became confident that Indian industry was up to the challenge.

Although it had been decided early in the LCA programme to equip the prototype aircraft with the General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 afterburning turbofan engine, a parallel programme was also launched in 1986 to develop an indigenous powerplant. Being led by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment, the GTRE GTX-35VS, christened "Kaveri", was expected to replace the General Electric F404-GE-IN20 on all production aircraft. The GTRE's design envisions achieving a fan pressure ratio of 4:1 and an overall pressure ratio of 27:1, which it believes will permit the Tejas to "supercruise" (cruise supersonically without the use of the afterburner).
The Tejas is single-engined multirole fighter which features a tailless, compound delta-wing planform and is designed with "relaxed static stability" for enhanced maneuverability. Originally intended to serve as an air superiority aircraft with a secondary "dumb bomb" ground-attack role, the flexibility of this design approach has permitted a variety of guided air-to-surface and anti-shipping weapons to be integrated for more well-rounded multirole and multimission capabilities.

The tailless, compound-delta planform helps keep the Tejas small and lightweight - in fact, it is reputed to be the smallest and lightest 4th-generation combat jet in the world.[31] The use of this planform also minimises the control surfaces needed (no tailplanes or foreplanes, just a single vertical tailfin), permits carriage of a wider range of external stores, and confers better close-combat, high-speed, and high-alpha performance characteristics than comparable cruciform-wing designs. Extensive wind tunnel testing on scale models and complex computational fluid dynamics analyses have optimised the aerodynamic configuration of the LCA, giving it minimum supersonic drag, a low wing-loading, and high rates of roll and pitch.
All weapons are carried on one or more of seven hardpoints: three stations under each wing and one on the under-fuselage centreline. There is also an eighth, offset station beneath the port-side intake trunk which can carry a variety of pods (FLIR, IRST, laser rangefinder/designator, or reconnaissance), as can the centreline under-fuselage station and inboard pairs of wing stations.
The Tejas has a night vision goggles (NVG)-compatible "glass cockpit" that is dominated by an indigenous head-up display (HUD), three 5 in x 5 in multi-function displays, two Smart Standby Display Units (SSDU), and a "get-you-home" panel. Target acquisition is accomplished through a state-of-the-art radar - potentially supplemented by a laser designator pod, forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) or other opto-electronic sensors - to provide accurate target information to enhance kill probabilities. A ring laser gyro (RLG)-based inertial navigation system (INS) provides accurate navigation guidance to the pilot.

General characteristics

Length: 13.20 m (43 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 8.20 m (26 ft 11 in)
Height: 4.40 m (14 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 38.4 m² (413 ft²)
Empty weight: 5,500 kg (12,100 lb)
Loaded weight: 8,500 kg (18,700 lb)

1× General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 turbofan, 80.5 kN (18,100 lbf); or
1× General Electric F404-GE-IN20 turbofan, 83.2 kN (18,700 lbf);or
1× GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri turbofan, 89.9 kN (20,000 lbf)

Maximum speed: Mach 1.8, 1,920 km/h (1,195 mph) at high altitude
Range: 2000 km
Service ceiling: 15,250 m (50,000 ft)
Wing loading: 221.4 kg/m² (45.35 lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 1.07

Single internally mounted 23 mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon with 220 rounds of ammunition.
Eight external stations:
Air-to-air missiles include Astra BVRAAM, Vympel R-77 (AA-12 Adder), and Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer).
Air-to-surface munitions include anti-ship missiles, laser-guided bombs, unguided bombs, cluster bombs, and unguided air-to-surface rockets.


(Adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )

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