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FANTAN Variants - Q-5 / Q-5A / Q-5B / Q-5C

After the basic Q-5 was successfully developed a number of derivatives, e.g. nuclear weapon carrier, Q-5I, Q-5IA, Q-5111, etc., were successively developed in order to satisfy some special needs of the military Services and other operators and to meet the needs for exportation.

  1. Q-5 prototype used two 30mm aerial cannons, installed in the nose both sides, with the pitot pickup carried outside the starboard main plane. Because of this kind of aerial cannon layout, the muzzle gunsmoke is easily injested by the air inlets.

  2. Q-5 was the original production version, later superseded by the Q-5A. Changes in the wing roots installed two 23mm aerial cannons, with a total of 6 pylons, one under each wing and four under the fuselage The store mounting points may carry missiles, rockets, bomb and so on. The underbelly may carry a weight 250 kilogram bomb respectively located at the internal weapon bay cabin door on both sides' two outside contacts. Pylons located at the outside of the the fuselage usually carry 57 millimeter or 90 millimeter rocket projectile nacelles.

  3. Q-5A had increased range, with the fuselage fuel increased to 2155 liters, and the external fuel increased to 1560 liters. The aircraft could carry 1000 kilogram weapon loads internally. In order to obtain the combat radius which was needed, this aircraft must carry auxiliary external fuel tanks, but before jettisoning the auxiliary fuel tank, it could only makesubsonic flight. In addition, the Q-5 flight profile was usually low-low-low or high-low-low-high, with low-altitude flying speed limit of Mach 0.98. Of the approximate 1,000 Q-5s produced, nearly 600 were the improved Q-5A variant. Development began in April 1970 by the Nanchang Aircraft Factory. On 01 August 1970, the Q-5A made its first test flight.

  4. Q-5 Nuclear Weapon Carrier In order to support nuclear test the Nanchang Aircraft Factory completed the manufacture of several nuclear weapon carriers which were derived from the basic Q-5 in 1970. A small number, perhaps a few dozen, of the Q-5As were modified to carry nuclear weapons. This required additional nuclear bomb control systems. In the Type A the # 124 factories intalled a fuel gas bolt as the core ejection type bomb rack; #5714 factories installed toos-bombing sights. For the H-bomb test, the underbelly missile bay cabin door was removed, forming a large hollow, which partly buried the big hydrogen bomb - in China nuclear weapon volume was quite big. On December 30, 1971, this aircraft practiced for the first time delivering a hydrogen bomb. In the thirteenth nuclear test in China on January 7, 1972 the loft bombing of the nuclear bomb was successfully carried out with the Q-5 nuclear weapon carrier. The Type A also provided a tactical nuclear attack method for the army, when resisting Soviet tanks had the greatly practical significance.

  5. Q-5B was the torpedo attack airplane which was developed for the PLA Navy, taking the torpedo as the primary armament. Development began in 1968 to modify the Q-5 so that it could carry torpedoes. The most noticable modification was enlarging, rounding, and drooping the once conical nose of the Q-5. The nose changed the declination 5 degree nose bluntness circular cones, the pilot's seat was elevated, and the overall result was that the pilot's downward field of vision is very good. The nose improvement stemmed from another goal, the addition fire control radar, using the Type 317 monopulse pulse doppler fire control radar with a terrain following and evasion ability, with a maximum range of 20 km. Other modifications were made in removing the bomb bay and increasing the fuel capacity by installing a larger fuel tank which brought the maximum range to 2120 kilometers. Additionally, the wing area was increased, an autopiloting system was added, and torpedo carriages were placed underneath the wing. In September 1970, the Q-5B variant made its first flight. Three months after the flight test, the first deliveries of the Q-5B were made to the PLAN. Although the small batch aircraft were satisfactory during the evaluation, they were soon withdrawn because the air defenses of enemy naval fleets had eliminated any chance of effective aircraft-launched torpedo attacks.

    The Type B experimented with carrying the YJ-8K (hawk to strike - 8K) air-to-ship missile in August 1978. From 1978 to 1980, the YJ-8 automatic control test firing were successful. But the Q-5B designs had not been finalized, therefore the YJ-8 test firings were made from speed boats as the platform, and finally the YJ-8 was developed as a ship-to-ship missile. The Q-5B was equipped with the Type 317A airborne radar, an improvement of the original Type 317, and the maximum range was increased to over 50 km. Only a very limited number entered the service and by the 1980s, these aircraft were withdrawn from front line service. The Q-5B is at present publicly displayed at the China Aeronautical museum, but because in this airplane and the pictures of the Q-5 torpedo planes are not too similar, there is the possibility that this model was afterwards transformed.

  6. Q-5C was once expected through improvement work to transplant beneficial technical achievements from Western countries to Chinese Q-5 airplanes, thus enhancing resistance to Soviet armed forces armor capacity. The tentative plan was take the western advanced guidance which, the attack and the weapon technology introduced as a foundation, particularly the new open area antitank weapon, to develop a series of new tactical rules, enhanced attacks the Soviet troops tank armor vehicles' potency. For example, the Q-5 could carry the British BL-755 antitank submunition. The supposed Soviet troop target is a T-62 main battle tank camp, altogether 42 tanks, a ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, a SA-9 antiaircraft missile launching trolley. Above vehicles mutually spacing 125 meters. The Q-5 would fly at a height of 125 meters, the speed 800 kilometers/hours, carry two BL-755 submunitions (containin 147 antitank munititions each) and two groups of 90 millimeter aviation rocket projectiles (altogether 14 rocket projectiles). Each sortie requires two passes, the first time puts in the submunition, and the second launches rocket projectile. If the destruction of the enemy tank camp battle efficiency requires destroying half the tanks, then altogether 12 sorties are needed.

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