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J-7 (Jianjiji-8 Fighter aircraft 7) Variants

There are some errors on the J-7 projects, including the fan-art F-7X and a JZ-7, which never existed.

  1. J-7: Initial licence version using Chinese-made components; built at Shenyang; few only.

  2. J-7 I: Initial Chengdu version for PLA Air Force (1967), with variable intake shock cone and second 30 mm gun; not accepted in large numbers, due mainly to unsatisfactory escape system (front-hinged canopy, to which ejection seat was attached).

  3. J-7 II: Modified and improved development of J-7 I, with WP7B turbojet of increased thrust (43.2 kN; 9,700 lb st dry, 59.8 kN; 13,450 lb st with afterburning); 720 litre (190 US gallon; 158 Imp gallon) centreline drop tank for increased range; brake-chute relocated at base of rudder to improve landing performance and shorten run; rear-hinged canopy, jettisoned before ejection seat deploys; new Chengdu Type II seat offering ejection at zero height and speeds down to 135 kt (250 km/h; 155 mph); and new Lanzhou compass system.

  4. J-7 III: Chinese equivalent of MiG-21MF, much redesigned from J-7 II with blown flaps and all-weather, day/night capability. Main improvements are change to WP13 engine with greater power; additional fuel in deeper dorsal spine; JL-7 (J-band) interception radar, with correspondingly larger nose intake and centrebody radome; sideways-opening (to starboard) canopy, with centrally located rearview mirror; improved HTY-4 low-speed/zero height ejection seat; more advanced fire-control system; twin-barrel 23 mm gun under fuselage (with HK-03D optical gunsight); broader-chord vertical tail surfaces, incorporating antennae for LJ-2 omnidirectional RWR in hemispherical fairing each side at base of rudder; increased weapon/stores capability (four underwing stations), similar to that of F-7M; and new or additional avionics (which see). Joint development by Chengdu and Guizhou (GAIC); entered PLA Air Force and Navy service from 1992.

  5. J-7E: Upgraded version of J-7 II with modified, double-delta wing, retaining existing leading-edge sweep angle of 57 inboard but reduced sweep of only 42 outboard; span increased by 1.17 m (3 ft 10 in) and area by 1.88 m{2} (20.2 sq ft), giving 8.17 per cent more wing area; four underwing stations instead of two, outer pair each plumbed for 480 litre (127 US gallon; 106 Imp gallon) drop tank; new WP7F version of WP7 engine, rated at 44.1 kN (9,921 lb st) dry and 63.7 kN (14,330 lb st) with afterburning; armament generally as listed for F-7M, but capability extended to include PL-8 air-to-air missiles; g limits of 8 (up to M0.8) and 6.5 (above M0.8); avionics include head-up display and air data computer. Believed to have made first flight in 1990 and entered service 1993.

  6. J-7G: Domestic version of the successful F-7MG/PG export fighter (G suffix indicates gai: modified), equipped KLJ-6E Lieying ("Falcon") I/J-band pulse-Doppler fire-control radar [possibly derived from the Israeli EL/M2001, a new Type III IFF, Chinese zero-zero ejection seat, and improved electronic countermeasures (ECM). The J-7G firsr flew in June 2002 and entered the PLAAF service in 2004, with production expected to continue for several years, pending delivery of significant numbers of the J-10 and J-11B fighters. At least 48 had been delivered to the PLAAF by the end of 2006, and as many as 96 were in service by the end of 2010.

  7. F-7A: Export counterpart of J-7 I, supplied to Albania and Tanzania.

  8. F-7B: Export version of J-7 II, with R550 Magic missile capability; supplied to Egypt and Iraq in 1982-83 and also to Sudan.

  9. F-7BS: Hybrid version supplied to Sri Lanka 1991: has F-7B fuselage/tail and Chinese avionics (no HUD and so on), combined with four-pylon wings of F-7M.

  10. F-7M Airguard: Upgraded export variant developed from J-7 II; new avionics imported from May 1979 included GEC-Marconi Avionics HUDWAC (head-up display and weapon aiming computer); new ranging radar, air data computer, radar altimeter and IFF; more secure com radio; improved electrical power generation system for the new avionics; two additional underwing stores points; improved WP7B(BM) engine; birdproof windscreen; strengthened landing gear; ability to carry PL-7 air-to-air missiles; nose probe relocated from beneath intake to top lip of intake, offset to starboard. Exported to Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

  11. F-7P Airguard: Variant of F-7M (briefly called Skybolt), embodying 24 modifications to meet specific requirements of Pakistan Air Force, including ability to carry four air-to-air missiles (Sidewinders) instead of two and fitment of Martin-Baker Mk 10L ejection seat. Delivered 1988-91.]

  12. F-7MP: Further modified variant of F-7P; improved cockpit layout and navigation system incorporating Collins AN/ARN-147 VOR/ILS receiver, AN/ARN-149 ADF and Pro Line II digital DME-42. Avionics (contract for up to 100 sets) delivered to China from early 1989. FIAR Grifo 7 fire-control radar (range of more than 30 n miles; 55 km; 34 miles) for F-7P and MP ordered 1993, to replace GMAv Skyranger; began flight trials May 1996.

  13. F-7MG: Improved version of F-7M (G suffix indicates gai: modified), combining double-delta wings of J-7E with upgraded avionics and other changes including uprated (WP13F) engine and leading/trailing-edge manoeuvring flaps. Said to have 45 per cent better manoeuvrability than F-7M. Public debut (aircraft 0142 and 0144) at China Air Show, Zhuhai, November 1996; discussions in progress at that time with Bangladesh and Pakistan as potential launch customers.

  14. F-7PG: Designation seen on one photograph in 1995. Presumably demonstrator to meet Pakistan Air Force requirement, based on F-7MG, but no orders announced.

  15. F-7M Super-7: Proposed development of F-7M; superseded by FC-1.

  16. JJ-7/FT-7: Tandem two-seat operational trainer developed at Guizhou, based on J-7 II and MiG-21US;

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Page last modified: 24-02-2016 20:03:31 ZULU