FC-1 Xiaolong / JF-17 Thunder

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


FC-1 Xiaolong / JF-17 Thunder Specifications



Overall Dimensions

14.97m(W) x 94.65m (D) x 4.77m (H)

Wheel Tread (rear)




Net Weight


Normal Takeoff Weight


Max. Takeoff Weight


Useful Load


Fuel Capacity


Maximum Speed


Maximum Altitude


Takeoff Distance


Landing Distance


Maximum Range


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

2.1 Weaponry

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.

fc-1 weapon

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.


rd-93Type: 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

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