Saturday, June 9, 2007

The FC-1 -or- A Tale Of An Inferior Fighter Plane (Part 2)

Part one of this article is available here:

The Chegdu FC-1 is positioned to become the backbone of the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) for the next twenty-plus years. Pakistan has standing orders for 150 of the aircraft, which may yet increase to a maximum of 250 aircraft.

Unfortunately, the FC-1, known to Pakistan as the JF-17, is an inferior aircraft, and almost overwhelmingly so when compared with its principal rival, the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Su-30MKI.

The MKI has many advantages over the FC-1 (it should be noted that the two aircraft are not competing on the open market for export orders, so financial comparisons between the two are not included here). The MKI offers much greater combat persistance, with a 12 AAM load compared to the FC-1's 6. An MKI can be fitted with up to 8 BVR AAMs, twice the load of the FC-1. The MKI already features IFR capability, giving greater endurance, although IFR has been mooted for future FC-1 production blocks.

One further distinct advantage is in the radar of the MKI. The MKI's N011M Bars radar set is a PESA, and can detect 20 targets while conducting four simultaneous engagements. Maximum detection range is in the 200 kilometer range, with detection of an F-16 size target being possible up to 160 kilometers. The FC-1's Chinese radar set has been claimed to be able to detect a fighter sized target at 75 kilometers, while tracking 10 targets and prosecuting two simultaneous engagements. Given the larger numbers of MKIs being fielded at present, and their greater radar performance specifically with regards to the ability to engage four targets versus two for the FC-1, the MKI has a distinct advantage in direct air-to-air combat.

This, of course, does not take into consideration support assets and the aircraft's EW suites. The FC-1 does appear to have a comprehensive EW suite, as does the MKI. One internet blogger has surmised that the FC-1's EW suite should have an advantage when combating a Russian-armed aircraft like the MKI as China does have extensive knowledge of Russian air-to-air weaponry.

Here's the problem with that argument.

The Bars radar has Jet Engine Modulation (JEM) technology, allowing for a target to be identified at range by simply analyzing the radar returns from the target's engine compressor face. The FC-1's engine face is currently shielded somewhat thanks to the DSI inlets, but if the inlet trunks are not RAM coated then radar returns will still be able to propagate back and forth through them. Simply hiding a compressor face is not enough.

There is also the passive engagement option for the MKI, something else speculated for future FC-1 blocks. The MKI has a very good IRST system, enabling target prosecution using passive sensors and weapons. The MKI can also act as a "mini-AWACS", passing targeting information to other aircraft operating "blind".

The FC-1 also currently suffers from having a highly reflective steerable planar array radar set. This is a major source of radar reflectivity and will compund the RCS of the airframe. In the MKI, the passive phased array set is angled downwards slightly, helping to reduce this effect on the FLANKER's RCS.

Okay, on paper, that might not really be a fair comparison. The MKI is, after all, a heavy fighter, with a larger airframe bestowing a greater number of weapons hardpoints and a larger radar set. But the simple fact is that if the FC-1 were to go into combat, it'd likely have to deal with the MKI, so a comparison is wholly justified.

What about the F-16? Or the other Chinese product, the J-10? The F-16 Block 50/52 being purchased by Pakistan benefits from years of constant tweaking and updating based on countless combat operations, and is a wholly mature weapon system. In terms of paper capability, the FC-1 only really lags far behind the F-16 in terms of stores capacity, and perhaps system reliability thanks to combat experience. The J-10 is a far more advanced aircraft than the FC-1, featuring greater payload capacity, nearly double the operational radius according to some sources (it does have a significantly higher internal fuel load), and a more robust, capable avionics suite.

The real problem with the FC-1 is the fact that it appears to be a cheap, exportable miniaturization of the far more capable J-10. Pakistan has already shown interest in acquiring the J-10. With a possible 250 FC-1s, one would have to wonder why they would feel the need to pursue yet another fighter aircraft, especially when an advanced Block 50/52 F-16 purchase is being made as well. The PAF's infatuation with the F-16 is well known. The J-10 would be a better option than the F-16 from a political standpoint, but mention cancelling an F-16 buy to the PAF and see what happens. There is a far smaller possibility of J-10 support being rescinded should a war break out, after all, given that Pakistan's chief antagonist is no friend of the Chinese government either.

In this analyst's opinion, had Pakistan held out for a large export order of the J-10, things would be a lot different. People will throw out the argument that the PAF needs a high-low mix of J-10s and FC-1s. That doesn't necessarily wash, as one major combat type would prove to be far cheaper to operate over the long run. The FC-1 would be suited in small numbers to serve in a supplementary role as a point defense aircraft given the horrifying lack of a robust SAM network in Pakistan, but the heavy work should be left to the J-10 or a similar aircraft. Unfortunately, with a potentially 250 aircraft purchase of the FC-1, there will not be enough money in the fighter budget for enough J-10s to make a serious difference on the subcontinent, not when the IAF is buying around 250 MKIs.

That is not to say that the FC-1 is without merit. This is a cheap, export-class light fighter capable of BVR air-to-air combat. If it is fitted with a Chinese engine, which is in the works to sidestep the RD-93 issue mentioned in the first half of this article, the FC-1 may enjoy export success around the globe as a MiG-21 and J-7 FISHBED replacement. Production of the FC-1 will also breathe much-needed life into the stagnant aircraft industry in Pakistan. But when compared to the primary threat aircraft in Pakistan's primary antagonist, the FC-1 simply falls short, and as such is an inferior aircraft for Pakistan. It might be a great fit for a nation like Ecuador or even Cuba, but Pakistan needs a capability set that the FC-1, at this point in time, decidedly does not offer.

Much has been made of the FC-1 recently, given that the aircraft is being exported to a nuclear state in a potentially volatile region of the world. Part of the issue is that neither the Indians nor the Pakistanis can wholly separate themselves from a propagandist standpoint when describing their latest purchases. If you believed either side, you'd believe that they would win an air war in very short order. Unfortunately for the armchair generals of the world, and the interweb fanboys, it's just not that simple.

Ultimately, success in the air will be determined by not only system effectiveness and capability, but by pilot skill, and the parameters of the engagement. That being said, it doesn't help to voluntarily go into a fight with one hand already tied behind your back, does it? In reality, a major conflict on the subcontinent will probably end up with a nuclear exchange, and all of this will be rendered moot anyway.


Anonymous said...

Dear man, your post has PLA MKII aka MHussain (another nom de guerre) wetting his panties in embarassment and anger. Do be more gentle will he is busy flaming the LCA on Keypub, run as it is by "Indians hiding behind western nicks", so you must be a curry eating dark irishman.

Sean O'Connor said...

That's pretty funny, I am of Irish descent and have been called "dark Irish" before due to my dark hair and dark facial hair!

Anonymous said...

Sean your radar detection figures for KLJ-7 is not correct. Even at the very start the goal post for Grifo S-7 was 110 Kms for 3msq. Later when KLJ-7 was selected ACM said they have not reduced their requirements at all.
Thirdly He also mentioned RAM would be applied. Check latest AFM interview which explicitly mentions one of the major reason for DSI was to reduce RCS.

Last but not least. Just by virture of size of MKI what is the RCS value?? Don't tell me it's less than 1 m sq :)

Lastly just one word for you that you ignored.
AWE&C assets. ;)

Anonymous said...

Where is this claim of 110 Km for 3 Sq Mtrs coming from? Boss, you fans come up with vague stuff. All we have at this date is >75 Km for 3 Sq Mtrs..!!

Also, the MKI has got RAM to get it to 3 Sq Mtrs, according to Michal F in Edefenseonline.

Anonymous said...

LOL, A fan of irish whiskey as well?
Dont know how that'd go with spicy food tho'..

Sean O'Connor said...

Where is a different set of figures for the KLJ-7 published? Just because that was the Grifo's target doesn't mean that the same target was met on the KLJ-7, regardless of the desires of the PAF. That requirement that hasn't been relaxed could be met in the form of a foreign radar in aircraft beyond the first fifty bought, you know.

MKI's RCS value? No idea, but not anywhere close to 1m2, that's for sure. MKI itself containing RAM isn't out of the question though, the IAF did RAM testing on a Jaguar a while back (might have been a MiG-21). At any rate both aircraft will be massive targets when seen side-on thanks to their vertical tails.

Of course, if the FC-1 doesn't use a phased array of some sort, it may not see the MKI when it's beam-on due to the doppler notch. No doppler shift=no detection of the target. That's a standard countertactic as well, placing the threat on your beam in an effort to force it to break lock.

AEW&C assets? Show me one. There are MKIs and FC-1s on the subcontinent. The only AEW&C aircraft there right now is bits and pieces of a failed IAF attempt to create one. Now, both sides are buying them, so both sides will have the ability to take advantage of them in combat. Which side is pursuing a dedicated anti-AWACS missile, though?

And yes, Irish whiskey is awesome. I myself do prefer Jagermeister though!

Sean O'Connor said...

I want to state for the record that this is not intended as a disparagement of the Chinese aviation industry, far from it. I am very impressed so far with what I've seen regarding the J-10. The point here is to illustrate that it is my opinion that the FC-1 is an inferior aircraft with regard to what Pakistan will potentially square off against in an air war. I think they'd be better suited with the J-10, or even a J-11B export variant, although the latter would probably cause Russia to have fits! The FC-1 is a good aircraft on its own, but that's not the point I am making here at all.

Abhiman said...

Hello Mr. Sean, I am Abhiman from India. I would definitely appreciate if you may compare the JF-17 with its Indian counterpart the LCA Tejas. The Su-30MKI is not in the same class as the JF-17, however the Tejas is and like the JF-17, it shall be the "backbone" of the IAF for the coming decades.

Thank you.

Sean O'Connor said...

The Tejas may replace a good deal of the MiG-21s, but with 250-300 MKIs on order it is the Sukhoi that will form the technological and potentially quantitative backbone of the IAF.

Also, the Tejas is arguably further behind in development than the FC-1 thanks to continued struggles with the Kaveri and funding limitations (only a handful have actually been ordered); although Tejas should still be operational in a few years time, there will already be a number of FC-1s in PAF service.

Anyway, as to your request, given the protracted development of Tejas and the induction of more and more MKIs and FC-1s into the IAF and PAF, it would seem that the MKI and FC-1 are far more likely to meet, especially given that the MKI would be the long-range strike and barrier air defense platform. Tejas is more suited to the point defense role like the FISHBED it will replace. Capable, yes, but ultimately short-legged as it is a very small aircraft. Would they meet in combat? Maybe, if the Tejas is deployed to the north and the northwest, and the FC-1 is sent into Indian airspace near there. But it is more likely that MKI units will be in the area to provide barrier air defense, leaving Tejas units to handle "leakers". That's the way I see it anyway.

Abhiman said...

Mr Sean, the development of the Tejas is ahead of the JF-17. Radar integration has commenced already since the past few months, and weaponization ahs also begun. Both these activities have yet to be started on the JF-17.

The IAF has ordered 20 Tejas units and 20 GE F-404 engines have been ordered for the same. Like the JF-17, the expected number of Tejas units that are intended to serve in the IAF is also of the order of 200+. It is unlikely that the IAF shall deploy Su-30s for all roles other than defence; the Tejas fighters with a max. external load of 4,500 kgs and range of 1,200 kms can also be deployed for strike missions for cost-effectiveness and better optimization of fighter resources.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

India's Jaguars have local RAM
And Russia offered RAM for their Bisons, dont know if it was taken up though.
Frontal RCS is key to BVR, and significant RAM could reduce the radar signature.
Also India is conducting research into more stealth techniques and methods, from "golden canopies" to other items. Such canopies are stated to have been developed,


Anonymous said...

The number of MKIs on order, 230

50- import
140- local built
40- new import

Sean O'Connor said...

Thanks for the order figures, I never could remember the figures for the latest batch anyway.

As for the FC-1's radar integration and weapons testing, how do you know it hasn't begun yet, abihman?

Anonymous said...

Sean fair enough regarding KLJ-7 detection range. However i do distinctly remember the comment regarding PAF not lowering their initial requirement for "Chinese" radar. Thats the very first time when the whole switch to Chinese radar was revealed. Couldn't find that interview (it was Janes IIRC, i will look further ).

regarding AWE&C my point was your picture is not complete when you compare FC-1 and MKI. Yes i agree no such assets are their right now but is it doubtful that both countries will not acquire them anymore somehow??

Farooq said...

By the way where did that 75 km range came from??

Sean O'Connor said...

75 kilometers came from the web, I can't remember where.

As far as the PAF requirements go again, perhaps that is what precipitated them to pursue a J-10 purchase?

Anonymous said...

Sean thats what was reported by Richard Fisher from IDEAS exhibition.(I know it's strategycenter but he seems to be quoting an official :) , i would further look for the article though...just for you ;) )

"Currently the program advancing in two areas: flight testing and avionics integration. The later has entailed a considerable competition between several radar manufacturers. Since early in this program it was assumed that Pakistan and China would pursue different radar options, with the Italian Griffo being tipped as Pakistan’s likely choice, following on its selection for its Chengdu J-7PG fighters. However, Pakistani officials now disclose that a Chinese radar and avionics package will equip the first 50 JF-17s. China has taken a multi-mode radar developed for the Chengdu J-10 fighter and developed a smaller version, which a Pakistani official says, "have met our requirements—we have not lowered out requirements." These officials note that JF-17 fire control system will only need to support two simultaneous beyond-visual-range (BVR) target engagements. China success in selling its radar/avionics system to Pakistan is a sure indication of China’s rapid advance in mastering advanced fighter radar technologies. It also bodes well for the FC-1’s entry into the Chinese Air Force, which is expected by Pakistani officials.


Farooq said...

the 75 km if i am not wrong was posted by PLA-MKII as he interpreted the recent AFM interview about JF-17 in which ACM said KLJ-7 is "much better" than our F-16s radar. Whats the figures on APG-66 operated by PAF?

Farooq said...

The J-10 requirement was supposedly for payload increase.
The interview:

"Q. How can you compare F-16 and Su-30?

Ans. These aircraft can be compared in many ways. Su-30 MKI has powerful radar but it can be detected by the AEW&C systems and the F-16s will thus be aware of its presence. Apart from that both aircraft can carry latest weapon systems. Su-30 MKI has the capacity to carry heavy loads and more fuel but this can be countered with the help of AAR. In the same manner Chinese F-10A is also an excellent platform in countering this threat and can carry heavier loads than the F-16.


Sean O'Connor said...

Where exactly are the original PAF radar requirement specifications mentioned anywhere on the web?

Farooq said...

Do you consider to be reliable? Just aksing this is what i found...

The Pakistan Air Force currently has the Block 15 F-16A/B model in operation, which has an upgraded APG-66 radar that brings it close to the MLU (Mid-life Update) radar technology. The main advantage is the ability to use the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles if they were ever to be released to the PAF. Furthermore, the radar is capable of sorting out tight formations of aircraft and has a 15%-20% range increase over previous models. All the earlier F-16s were brought up to OCU standards and have received the Falcon UP structural modification package.


P.S: Sorry if i am ruinin your weekend :D , I have no life you know :P just moved in Charlotte and except for good weather nothing else to write home about.

Sean O'Connor said...

No not those, I mean the PAF's performance requirements for the FC-1's radar.

Farooq said...

Yet another interview it was which i cannot seem to find :)
It was regarding Grifo S-7. I will be looking for it. Will post when i find it.

But what are APG-66 OCU values in PAF service. I can surely give you the link to latest ACM interview in which he said KLJ-7 is "much better" than that.

Sean O'Connor said...

I'm not sure. It's certainly not as capable as the newer APG-68 used in later model F-16s.

Farooq said...


Sorry dude still couldn't find that article that mentions 110 Km however from Pakistani aeronautical kamra website

Weapons Capability
70-100 Km range beyond visual range active missiles
Highly agile Imaging infra red short range missiles
Air to sea missiles
Anti radiation missiles
Laser guided weapons
Programmable delays cluster bombs
Runway penetration bombs
General purpose bombs
Training bombs
23 mm double barrel gun


I know still not definitive but mentions BVR weapons capability upto 100 Kms.

Sean O'Connor said...

In my immature opinion as an Indian IT professional (heh), that may or may not be an indicator of radar range. The SD-10 may well range out to 100 kilometers, which is what they appear to be saying there, but that doesn't mean the radar can fully support it to that range.

It does make sense that they'd choose a radar capable of supporting the weapons it carries, though. And the 110 kilometer range figure was for a fighter sized target, even if it is only 75 kilometers a larger or more visible aircraft will still be detectable at a longer range than either figure allowing for an SD-10 launch at that range.

Which, for the record, is typically the way to make a BVR weapon miss, but that's another issue entirely.

Farooq said...

I concur with you Sean and i said it's nothing definitive however i have read the article/interview which mentioned 110 + range. Perhaps what was on offer for Grifo would clear up things??!!?

But anyway i would leave it at this for now until i could come across something concerete. Also your comments regarding planar array were interesting and PAF seems to be looking for AESA:

And not only has trafic to your blog increased but PakDef is gonna get more trafic too ;)
Win Win i say :P

Sean O'Connor said...

An AESA or even a PESA is a great idea. If you treat the intakes with RAM, give it a treated canopy, and add an angled array for the AESA/PESA, you'll get a much better RCS figure for the FC-1.

I'll see if I can find something on the Grifo radar that was offered a bit later.

Farooq said...

This is what i found,

Myself couldn't make much out of whatever is given but if i am not wrong S-7 was supposed to be the top of the line with Grifo-2000 meant for F-16s
Perhaps your expert(immature? :P ) analysis could give us some insight

Sean O'Connor said...

Nice link there. Thanks, Italy, for making a nice colorful PDF without including anything like, I don't know, ranges or anything, but it is informative.

The fact that the Grifo-S7 will have LPRF, MPRF, and HPRF modes is a good quality to have, for a bunch of technical reasons that I won't get into on the comments section here. It looks to me like the S7 and the 2000 models for the FC-1 and the F-16 are pretty much the same radar, just the one for the F-16 is bigger due to the availability of more space inside the radome.

They should both be quality radar systems from the looks of things.

Abhiman said...

Mr. Sean, there have been no news reports on the weaponization or radar-integration of the JF-17.

Anyway, even if it has begun it would only be at par with the Tejas and not ahead in the development schedule.


Anonymous said...

Well, according to kanwa, current S-7 is available with 2 antennas, 1 is 600mm and the other is 800mm. The 600mm antenna can be fitted right away while the 800mm requires some adjustment (moving the electronics 400mm backwards, but griffo says its doable). So if such adjustent is done JF-17 ca have a very decent radar, plus remember that after the introduction of DSI the nose cone has been enlarged.

Anonymous said...

Super-7 was designed by the Northrop Grumman and of US to meet the requirement of PAF (Pakistani name for the project was “Saber II”) with Chinese help as it was based upon F-7s to supplement the PAF’s F-16s
It was decided that
? It will use of Avionics and Radar AN/APG-66 of F-16
? It will use of larger delta wings and new side mounted air intake (like those of FTC-2000 trainer)
? It was to be powered by the F404
? It was to built in side Pakistan but the with cost raising from 8Million $ to 12-15Million $ project was dropped in favor of direct buy of F-7Ps and other reason was the order of extra F-16s and budget cuts and later US also with draw its support for the project also
In 1995, China invited Pakistan Air Force to join the project so that PAF could fill its fighter gap created due to the sanctions by US and its allies over the dispute on the nuclear issue. Pakistan invested half of the total development cost of the project. The entire design of the aircraft was changed to meet the first requirements for PAF as F-16s were not available like before. But program was no where near schedule to meet 2001/2002 dead line of operational service due to lack of funding from Pakistani side. In June 1999, During PM Nawaz Sharif’s era, Pakistan and China made an agreed to restart the program, with Pakistan agreeing to pay its part of the development costs. The JF-17/FC-1 is designed to be a cost-effective plane which can meet the tactical and strategic needs of the Pakistani Air Force

F-7MF/J-7MF were nothing but paper drawings with no one interested as their capabilities were far less then those planned for the Super-7 with very limited BVR capability because of very small radar not to mention the smaller payload and limited range
As you have said that MIG did not aided the design but still like every article on the JF-17 Thunder / Fc-1 available on the internet you to decided to mention these lies to keep the tradition alive. . The FC-1/JF-17 is derived from the "Super 7" project, and not the Project 33 (not to be confused with the MiG-33)
It was not only the flawed design that forced the PAC and China to go for change but this was also the result of change in the requirement of the primary Customer i.e. PAF as India was going to get 190 Su-30MKIs (+40 more might be ordered as we speak) and PAF was getting indications from the US about the release of New F-16 and the appearance of new generation of weapons and roles for the fighter aircrafts.F-35 JSF style Divertless Supersonic Intakes (DSI) not only resulted in increase in speed of the JF-17 Thunder but DSI is also stealthier than other conventional air intakes and resulted in weight savings of 200Kgs, now JF-17 carries 200kgs of extra fuel.The project is now known as JF-17 in Pakistan and FC-1 in China. DSI have reduced frontal weight further. That may affect the relaxed stability margin of the plane.

The DSI increases the efficiency airflow intake and engine performance across a range of altitudes and speeds. Commenting on the effect of using DSI intakes on the F-16, the test pilot described that it felt like the more powerful GE engine rather than the Pratt & Whitney on the test plane was powering it.

To start with this power Plant issue I will like to inform you and others that once such news appears in media Top Officials will be asked about the problem they said that Power Plant is not a problem. But then again an other news would appear in the Indian media that Russia will not allow RD-93 to used in JF-17 for PAF and this news item will be picked up by the world media and circle starts again So it was never a big issue as for as Pakistan and china were concerned

Why start comparing JF-17 with Su-30MKI?
Yes I know that IAF have ordered 230 Su-30MKI but you forget to mention that there will be hundreds of (Min of 500-600) MIG-21s, MIG-27s, MIG-29 & Jaguar , Mirage-2000H and LCA if it enters in service in numbers making the IAFs backbone that can be easily tackled by the JF-17 with superior WVRAAM (PAF’s CAS has said that JF-17 will use new generation WVRAAMs perhaps IRIST and for BVR first option will be US built AMRAAM or European solution and SD-10 will be there as a back up option)& Su-30MKI will be handled by the F-16 C/D Block 52 & MLU-3 armed with AMRAAM and IRIST? And by the FC-20s.As you have said that these two aircraft belong to the two different weight classes so no point in comparing the number of weapons they can carry but you should be rather see of what quality of weapons they will carry SD-10 the last option for Thunder is still better then early generation R-77 used by the Su30MKI

Question is what is the RCS of the F-16 and SU-30?

For aircraft N011M has a 350 km search range and a 200 km tracking range. The radar can track and engage 20 air targets and engage the 8 most threatening targets simultaneously. The forward hemisphere is ±90º in azimuth and ±55º in elevation. These targets can include cruise/ballistic missiles and even motionless helicopters. A MiG-21 for instance can be detected at a distance of up to 135 km. Design maximum search range for an F-16 target was 140-160km. A Bars' earlier variant, fitted with a five-kilowatt transmitter, proved to be capable of acquiring Su-27 fighters at a range of over 330 km. In comparison, the advanced Kopyo radar found in the latest MiG-21UPG can detect small drone targets at a range of 50 km. Another radar meant for the Flanker family, Phazotron-NIIR’s Zhuk-MS radar has a range of 150-180km against a fighter and over 300km against a warship. N011M can withstand up to 5 percent transceiver loss without significant degredation in performance. Additionally the Su-30MKI can function as a 'mini-AWACS' and can act as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to at least 4 other aircraft. This feature was first seen in the MiG-31 Foxhound, which is equipped with a Zaslon radar.

Maximum effective detective range at which Su30-MKI’s Bras radar can detect the JF-17 will depend upon its RCS which will be much smaller then F-16 because of the use of the DSI, RAM and smaller size. In fact as you mentioned that JF-17 project as development of the J-7 which was in tern a copy of the MiG-21 so even with out the use of RAM its RCS will be in class of the MIG-21 if not less. Therefore , detection range will be some where around 135KM not 160KM.And at the same time SU-27/30 can be detected by the Bras at ranges over 330KM speaks about their Huge RCS which should be kept in mind while considering the range of the JF-17s Radar and those 8-10 AAM load will only make things worse.
Now after explaining all this I have a question for you
Can you tell me the tracking and lookdown/ shoot down ranges for F-16 and Jf-17 size targets?????

So far no official information is available to be quoted about the JF-17s radar (KLJ-7) which will be used on first 50 units, but some very knowledge able people on / and are saying that it will be able to detect fighter size targets with RCS 3m2 at ranges100KM +and engage them at 75KM, it will be able to detect 40 targets and track 10 and simultaneously engage 4 of them. Perhaps this is the reason that PAF’s Chief have said that if Western firms want to get order for the Radar and avionics then they should come with some thing better then Chinese or stop making offers and in the same interview he said that PAF is looking for a AESA radar for the 2nd batch of JF-17 Thunder.

The first 50 will include Chinese avionics and weapons, RD-93 engines and at best a foreign IR missile. The second block is likely to incorporate the WS-13 engine, Western radar and missiles and various augmenting sensors. These may include the Selex Vixen radar and the MBDA Meteor or perhaps the AMRAAM. The reason for this is that the SD-10 is untested, and AESA radar development is still not mature in China. Further, the SD-10 is a bit heavier than its Western counterparts and is less suited for the super light fighter class than say, the Mica or the AMRAAM would be. AMRAAM of course would be ideal given that there would be commonality with the F-16s. Even if an AESA is not bought for the second batch, western radar that allows the integration of the AMRAAM, even if it is not necessarily more advanced than the KLJ-7 would definitely be welcome. A HMD/S such as the Guardian or the Cobra with a HOBS missile would also be something the PAF is likely to be looking at. Some minor stealth features may also be incorporated in the second block.

JF-17's EW combines radar warning receiver, ECM, RWR and missile proximity receiver to form an integrated surveillance network. The level of integration is of the ECM, RWR, MPR and others are at the same level as those of the modern 4.5+ and 5th generation combat aircraft. The RWR is of note in that it is not only part of an integrated system, but also gives 360 degree range for missile approaching warning system with infra-red and ultra-violet spectrum detecting with a detection range of > 20km. It can not only detect but also track and position approaching missiles. A computer controlled infrared interference system, calculates the right timing to release countermeasures. A “focused interference system”, that can directionally beam energy is included and creates the same impact as a large electronic warfare airplane in that particular direction. In comparison, only recent combat aircraft like the Rafale and the F-22 have anything similar. Going back half a generation to the F-18E/F and F-16 E/F, these planes do not come with anything similar.

By saying this you can’t draw a conclusion that China’s familiarity with Russian equipment, particularly radars and modern AAMs will have little or no effect against the Russian aircrafts and missiles as for the same reason countries like USA and Israel like to have look at their opponents ‘s weapon systems. Chinese EW is likely to be considerably effective against Russian aircrafts and missiles. And your assumption that JF-17 will not have the RCS reduction measures like RAM is against the reality. As data linking, IRST and FIR system will all be present in the 2nd block if not in First and aircrafts with out it will also be upgraded with same therefore Su30MKI will not enjoy any such advantage
On the other hand I can tell you that MKI has no ECM as it was not mentioned in the original brochure so not added. IAF forgot to that part.

must read this

IAF's Sukhoi SU-30 jets lack EW system

IANS Wednesday 9th May, 2007

The Indian Air Force's Sukhoi SU-30 combat jets lack an electronic warfare (EW) system, parliament was informed on Wednesday.

The EW system was not incorporated in the fighter as it was 'not identified' in the 1996 contract for purchasing the aircraft from Russia, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

The EW system is also not incorporated in the SU-30s being manufactured in India under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the minister added.

The IAF currently operates two squadrons (40 aircraft) of Su-30s that were inducted in 2004. Delays in its licensed manufacture here have prompted the IAF to place an order for another 40 aircraft.

Antony said: 'The general contract of December, 2000 was signed with Russia for manufacture of SU-30 aircraft by HAL as per the Standard of Preparation (SOP) for direct purchased aircraft contracted by MoD (ministry of defence) in 1996.

'Electronic warfare system was not included in the general contract because the system was not identified for the aircraft at that time.

'The Su-30 aircraft manufactured by HAL under licence is of the same SOP as that of stage III aircraft supplied directly by Russia,' the minister added.

Antony also said HAL planned to establish facilities for repairing and overhauling the SU-30 by 2008.

The aircraft would become due for overhaul from 2010 onwards.


Anonymous said...

Brother i am still looking for link of this 75 kilometers range for KLJ-7 radar

Anonymous said...

The anoymous poster who posted the nice article claiming MKI lacks ECM,

The MKIs have been shown repeatedly with EW pods carried outside, namely the Elta 8222.

However, there is a plan to move the EW fit inside.

The following aircraft have been seen with the following pods:

Mirage 2000 with Remora
Su-30 K and Su-30 MKI with Elta 8222
MiG-27s too with 8222.

Apart from that the IAF MiG-27 upgrade has them receiving internal SPJs made by BEL to a DRDO design, the DRFM equipped Tempest EW system
The Jaguars upgrades are recieving internal Elta 8222s.

All aircraft bar the Mirage 2000 are recieving the Tarang MK-II integrated RWR from DRDO manufactured by BEL.

The MKIs RWR is combined with a Swedish/South African MAWS to create a multispectral warning suite. DRDO has a program going on with EADS to create a series of new MAWS. These are intended for the IAF fleet as well.

There are currently several local EW programs going on for improved variants of the current jammers. These will be used for future upgrades and programs as well. The LCA for instance is to have an multispectral ECM suite, with an internal SP Jamming system superior to those on any IAF aircraft today.

The Russian media has also stated that Russia has displayed a superior jammer to the Elta 8222, and this would replace the same on the MKIs.

The Jaguars are to receive a dedicated Escort/ defence suppression jammer, for EW work. The IAF is stated to be looking for some 20 pods. That should be good enough for a few squadrons.

The Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 upgrades have been cleared recently. The latter will also see a modernised EW system added to it. Its unclear what the offensive jammer will be. The Mirage 2000s will be brought up to the Dash-5 standard, including the latest ICMS standard for EW.

Plus it is equipped with SIVA HADF pod,

pic is here,

Details on SIVA HADF from JDW 21st Feb 2007 by Robert Hewson.

* HADF locates ground based emitters -- AD and SAM radars.
* Underwent trials with IAF in 2006. DARE says will be in service Mid-07.
* Use to cue Krypton.
* Locates, identifies and targets hostile emitter at 150-200 kms.
* Target coordinates down to 1 deg accuracy even at max range.
* Interferometer design makes it immune to outside disturbances.
* Incorporates 6 passive antennas adopted from Tarang RWR.
* Range is 1 -- 18 Ghz. For range & accuracy HADF has narrow look angle.
* Initial cueing by DARE's R-118 Integrated MultiSensor Warning System.
* Flight-line programmable & radar threat library of needed to identify targets.


Weight 100kg, Length 2.244m and Diameter 40.6 cm

[b]Elta 8222 was seen on a MKI during Exercise Sindex. here's a link to a small clip taken during Exercise Sindex[/b]


at one stage during the clip right after a Mirage-2000 lands, the Su-30MKI is shown with a El-8222 on a wing pylon

The article also quotes,

[i]The IAF currently operates two squadrons (40 aircraft) of Su-30s that were
inducted in 2004. Delays in its licensed manufacture here have prompted the
IAF to place an order for another 40 aircraft.[/i]

this is nothing but bull, 40 more MKI's were ordered to EQUIPP FOR FALLING SQUADRONS , HAL id doing there work fine, do you want me to post HAL's orderbook from MOD report as well?


Regarding LCA versus JF17, I wouldnt comment a single bit on jf17 because that is not my domain, but those who thinks LCA is inferior I'll tell you its not .

Sean LCA wont be a point defence fighter, equipping the LSP production with Litening 3 pod means it'll be fully a2g bird, please remember till today we use Mig 21 as our main bird!

LCA with small size, extremely low RCS would be a great fighter with 4tonnes load, I'd say even jf17 is a good bird but then again the doctrine of IAF is not what the doctrine of PAF is are they?

The LCA will have host of sensors including array patch datalinks to integrated fire supressing sensor system, to MEMS based sensors, its MC will be powerful than anything in IAF so will be its EW system, it has over 40% shape memory alloy composites, federated architecture, and more importantly it has created a local aerospace industry!

but indeed let it come in service first.

My personal opinion on jf17 is that it is a good enough bird but if PAF wants to make it the main bird of its airforce there lies the problem.

The doctrine of IAF and PAF are entirely different, LCA suits in IAF where it should more than MKI.

Sean O'Connor said...

LCA with small RCS? The RCS of the basic airframe doesn't matter one bit once you start hanging weapons on the jet. Add large external fuel tanks if you intend to fly it as a strike platform, which also serves to limit the ordnance load you can fit on the aircraft as well.

Anonymous said...

The EW system was not incorporated in the fighter as it was 'not identified' in the 1996 contract for purchasing the aircraft from Russia, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The EW system is also not incorporated in the SU-30s being manufactured in India under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the minister added

This is the part U simply missd
You are saying that report in Your parliament is boges or something like this???/

Sean O'Connor
LCA have yet to carry Fuel Droptanks

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me the tracking and lookdown/ shoot down ranges for F-16 and Jf-17 size targets?????

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me the tracking and lookdown/ shoot down ranges of N011M for F-16 and Jf-17/Mig21 size targets?????

Anonymous said...

Sean Your right about RCS any aircraft with external weapons load RCS gets jeopardized but I'll make my assesment simple, among the aircrafts that has external weapons loadout, LCA by virtue of its size and the design goal, with some RAM RCS has been reduced, infact this is what designers say that the RCS has been reduces significantly compared to Mirage.

Having said that if I have to follow your qualification of RCS reduction other than F22 or JSF all other would have same RCS.

External RCS does jeopardise RCs, but among them LCA is designed to have the lower side of the spectrum, I can direct you to NAL archives if you want me to.

Anoymous said,

The EW system was not incorporated in the fighter as it was 'not identified' in the 1996 contract for purchasing the aircraft from Russia, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The EW system is also not incorporated in the SU-30s being manufactured in India under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the minister added

This is the part U simply missd
You are saying that report in Your parliament is boges or something like this???/

Do I have to explain you Englush now? I provided you with a video where Su 30 is carrying Elta 8222, it is equipped by HADF Pods as well.

Can you show me the actual parliamentary report with nitpicking here?

The MKI carries Elta 8222 externally and Siva HADF Pod which has been qualified, IIRC there is talks of equipping it with a good ARM from vympel to use with the HADF passive sensors.

I hope i'm clear? Next time bring the parliamentary report with you, it should be available in its website before talking.

Parliament says many things, I will give you media reports of parliament claiming brahmos range wont be icnreased, there is no sagarika programme yada yada, should I take it as gospel or should i take OFFICIAL REPORTS MORE CONFIRMATIVE?

You have infromation


Aero India
A video.

Thats more than enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who posted the above, so here is my observation on jf17,

Being an Indian I personally consider jf17 has bridged its gap with J10 significantly, and thats what matters IMHO.

By the way i'll wait for the gentlemen to show me the parliamentary report, and not some media BS.

MKI has been seen with Elta 8222 and it is used with it.
It is also equipped with HADF pod Which consists of many passive sensors as well.

There was no ECM signed when the deal was signed because Russia did not had one comparable to Elta 8222, which it is using now, I hope I'm clear because i dont like going in circles.

Anonymous said...

You are saying that report in Your parliament is boges or something like this???/ i asked you a question and waited for it
this your answer because report appear in most of the indian media
so it was hard to belive that whole media went wrong and that to in dame direction
There was no ECM signed when the deal was signed because Russia did not had one comparable to Elta 8222, which it is using now, I hope I'm clear because i dont like going in circles.
its ok with me
Do I have to explain you Englush now?
this where problem start when people start to be emotional

now can you answer the second question

Can you tell me the tracking and lookdown/ shoot down ranges of N011M for F-16 and Jf-17/Mig21 size targets?????

Sean O'Connor said...

Detection range for an F-16 size target is around 160 kilometers.

Anonymous said...

i am asking about the tracking and lookdown/ shoot down ranges of N011M for F-16 and Jf-17/Mig21 size targets?????
not the detection ranges for f-16 which is 140-160km

Sean O'Connor said...

Sorry, this one got bumped off the front page a few days ago so I forgot about it for a bit.

Here's some N011M Bars info. This was taken from the 2007-08 edition of Jane's Avionics.

Detection range for a 2 meter squared airborne target: 80-100 km head on, 30-40 tail

140 km max detection range for a "fighter sized" target

400 km max detection range for a large (AWACS) size target

200km max detection range for an air-to-ground target

40-50 km detection range for a small A/G target (a tank-sized vehicle)

120-150 km detection range for a destroyer-sized naval target

The radar can detect 15 targets and simultaneously track/engage 4 of them in one mode, or engage 1 air and 1 surface target simultaneously.

Anonymous said...

thanks brother for information on N011m

Sean O'Connor said...

No problem, sorry it took me a little bit to remember to post it!

Anonymous said...


I dont quite get you YEs what your trying to say, when you will have in hand the parliamantary report and you will see how media twists and puts its own story niside it then you will realise, do you want me to show me first hand issue of such? but it will go off topic.

Do you have the parliamentary report? kindly go to parliaments website and download the report and see for yourself.

Quotes in Parliament means nothing as such as there are literally hundreds of such vague quotes made in past what matters is IF IT IS DOCUMENTED OR NOT.

Let me be clear I have posted this someone claimed MKI does not has any ECM, I have told,

1. It carries Elta 8222 and provided a video for the same from Sindex.

2. It carries HADF Pod which will use various passive sensors made in India.

What more do you want?

If you want to say the DPP agreement does not included any ECM, that is different but if your saying MKI AS OF NOW DOES NOT HAVE ANY ECM THAT IS WRONG, Which is the thing I corrected, because some Media has puted the story IN WRONG MANNER.

Thank you.

Wiseowl said...

Let,s get the JF17 concept right. It,s not a competitor to the SU 30 or the Tejas/Mir2000 types at all. The JF17, sensibly, will replace the myriad versions of ordinary A/C like the A5,Mir3/5,F7 etc. The PAF will have a fairly capable single type Fighter/Bomber in the JF17 for many years to come.F16s,F10s and their ilk should provide the high end technology.

Anonymous said...

mr Sean O'Connor
YOU ARE A "F U C K D UP" indian franatic.....datz got curry spilled all over him!
try wiping ur urine stinkin mouth n then start posting some blogs....cuz this onez a total INDIAN BULLSHIT artical!

what are they paying you????
.....spicy curry stenchinh indian whores???

Anonymous said...

its funny how Pakistani son of bi@tches go crazy over the truth. guys take a long stroll around the boulevard and just go sleeping tight with this tin can of a plane.
its not even a proper third gen fighter. and they haven't decided what avionics they want.