FANTAN A-5, Q-5 (NANCHANG)
The A-5C is a single-seat, twin-engined, close air support and ground-attack strike fighter-bomber developed by the Nanchang Aircraft Company of China. The A-5Cs of the PAF have been employed exclusively in the ground attack role. Pakistan obtained 52 A-5Cs in 1983 which equip No. 16 and No. 26 Squadrons of the PAF. Of the 60 aircraft of this class acquired by Pakistan, as of mid-1999 only 49 remained in service. Some are reportedly capable of carrying a single 5-20 kT nuclear bomb. It offers enhanced combat performance particularly at low and super-low altitude. It is the latest renovated type equipped with imported navigation and attack systems. It is used mainly to assist ground troops in attacking concentrated targets on land, key transportation points and ships near the coast. It can also intercept and fight enemy aircraft.
The A-5C is powered by two Shenyang WP6 turbojets, each rated at 25.50 kN dry and 31.87 kN with afterburning, mounted side by side in the rear of the fuselage. Armament includes one internal 23mm cannon with 100 rounds in each wingroot; ten attachment points normally for external stores; two pairs in tandem under centre of fuselage, and three under each wing; fuselage stations can each carry a 250 kg bomb; inboard wing stations can carry 6kg or 25 lb practice bombs; outboard wing stations can each be occupied by a 400 litre drop tank or by air-to-air missiles such as PL-2, Pl-2b, Pl-7, AIM-9 Sidewinder and R550 Magic. The A-5C is an all-weather interceptor with provisions for a search-tracking radar in the nose.
It has a fuselage 15,65 meters long, a height of 4.33 meters, and a wingspan of 9,68 meters. Its maximum takeoff load is 11,300 kg. There is an increased inlet diameter and enlarged forward fuselage. Thus, more fuel can be carried in the proportionally waisted mid-fuselage. There are also space provisions for additional updated avionics. Another improved version Q5-K had been tested with French avionics, the program was cancelled in 1989.
It carries a cannon in each wing, mounted near the fuselage, and it can be loaded with air to air weapons. It can carry bombs and canisters in its hold and various kinds of bombs, rockets and spare fuel tanks in the racks under its wings. It is equipped with a ranging radar and can carry two torpedoes or two YJ-8 sea-skimming AshMs (C-801, range 10-50km at Mach 0.9) for anti-ship mission. The latest model in service with AF may be equipped with HUD, ballistic computer, ECM pod, ALR-1 laser range finder/designator (to deliver newly developed LGBs) and Russia is also offering its Phazotron Komar PD radar to upgrade the Q-5.
Country of Origin. People's Republic of China.
Similar Aircraft. Super Etendard, Yak-38 Forger, Mirage F1.
Armament. Rockets, missiles, bombs.
Dimensions. Length: 54 ft, 10 in (16.74 m). Span: 31 ft, 10 in (9.8 m).
Wings. Mid-mounted, sharply swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips. Wing fences.
Engine(s). Two turbojets are located inside the body. Semicircular air intakes. Two exhausts.
Fuselage. Thick, flattened, and upward taper to the rear section. Bubble canopy. Pointed nose.
Tail. Flats high-mounted on the body, swept-back, and tapered with square tips. Sharply swept-back tail fin with blunt tip.
Bangladesh, North Korea, Pakistan, People's Republic of China.
Sources and Resources
- PAF INVENTORY & ORDER OF BATTLE As of 16 June 1999 PAKISTAN INSTITUTE FOR AIR DEFENCE STUDIES
- A-5C "Fantan" PAF Weapons Systems: Strike Bombers/Ground-Attack Aircraft Pakistan Institute for Air Defence Studies
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