FC-1 Xiaolong or Fighter China I (枭龙战斗机) is an all-weather, single-seat, light supersonic fighter aircraft co-developed by China and Pakistan. The project of FC-1 Xiaolong was jointly funded by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Pakistan Air Force (50/50), and executed by Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute and Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group. The design of FC-1 was completed on May 31, 2002 and the first test flight was on August 25, 2003. In Pakistan, FC-1 Xiaolong is also known as JF-17 Thunder.
FC-1 Xiaolong / JF-17 Thunder Specifications
14.97m(W) x 94.65m (D) x 4.77m (H)
Wheel Tread (rear)
Normal Takeoff Weight
Max. Takeoff Weight
Safety Overload Range
1. Development history of FC-1 Xiaolong / JF-17 Thunder
FC-1 Xiaolong originated from the “Super-7″ light fighter project in 1988. In February 1998, an agreement was signed between China and Pakistan to co-develop “Super-7” light multi-role fighter. In the same year, CATIC (China National Aero-TechnologyImport & Export Corporation) purchased the MiG-33 design and test data from Russia. June 28, 1999, China and Pakistan signed the formal business contract in which the fighter was officially announced as “Fighter China No.1” (FC-1). It’s stipulated that each side will contribute 50% of the total development cost. For the aircraft propulsion system, the Klimov RD-93 turbofan engine (an upgraded version of Klimov RD-33 turbofan engine which is the primary engine for the Mikoyan MiG-29) was selected.
2. Performance of FC-1 Xiaolong / JF-17 Thunder
FC-1 Xiaolong is equipped with a “23-3” twin-barreled 23 mm auto-cannon (200 bullets). It has 7 hard points (2 located at wing tips, 4 below wings and 1 inside fuselage) for external installation of weapons for anti-air and ground attack missions. The main combat weapons which can be carried by FC-1 Xiaolong include SD-10 active-radar BVR air-to-air missile developed by China, PL-9 short-range, infrared-homing air-to-air missile (AAM) developed China, anti-ship and anti-radar missiles, bombs and guided bombs, cluster bombs and anti-runway bombs and so on. The total weapon capacity for FC-1 Xiaolong reaches 3.6 tons. In addition, the body design of the FC-1 also includes a carrier arresting hook which make it possible to develop FC-1 into a carrier-based fighter.
2.2. Propulsion and fuel system
In 2005, Russian Defense Export Company signed a contract with a total value of $238 million with China to sell 100 nos of RD-93 turbofan engines produced by the Klimov company of Russia for to equip FC-1. RD-93 turbofan engine has a maximum thrust of 81.4 kN with after-burning (usually for takeoff and combat situations) and 49.4 kN without turning on the after-burning. The propulsion system will enable to FC-1 Xiaolong to maintain a speed of 2000 kilometers per hour at an altitude of 16,500 meters.
Type: Turbofan engine with afterburner
Compressor components: biaxial compression
Bypass Ratio (BPR): 0.49:1
Military Thrust: 5,098 kg (50.0 kN, 11,230 pounds)
Maximum thrust with afterburner: 8,300 kg (81.3 kN, 18,285 pounds)
Overall compression ratio: 20: 1
Thrust-to-weight ratio: 77.1 N / kg (7.9: 1)
Reaction time: The engine can accelerate from idle power to maximum afterburner in 4 seconds.
2.3 Key technologies adopted
FC-1 Xiaolong adopted a number of key technologies, such as:
– “Shell” inlet design
– BVR attack
-Multiple autopilot modes
– Digital power control
– Advanced life support systems