MFI-15 Safari / MFI-17 Supporter / MFI-395 Super Mushshak
The MFI-15 Safari and MFI-17 Supporter resulted from Saab's adaptation of the MFI-9 Junior for basic training for civil and military operators. In 1968 Saab began work on its MFI-15, based on the MFI-9 but with some design changes, foremost of which was the 120kW (160shp) Lycoming IO-320 piston engine. Like the MFI-9. the MFI-15 retained the unusual braced, mid mounted and slightly forward swept wing and rearward hinging canopy, offering good all around vision. The prototype made its first maiden flight on 11 June 1969. Following testing te MFI-15 gained a more powerful IO-360, while the horizontal tail was relocated to clear it of damage from thrown up debris. First flight of this modified form was in February 1971. Sold as MFI-15 Safari, most went to civil coustomers, however Sierra Leone and Norway took delivery of Safaris for military pilot training.
To improve the Safari's military market appeal, Saab developed the MFI-17 Supporter, fitted with six underwing hardpoints for light and practice weaponry, giving it weapons training and light COIN capabilities. First flight was on July 6 1972. Denmark and Zambia were customers. Production ended in the late 1970s after about 250 Safaris and Supporters had been built, most for civil customers. Pakistan meanwhile took delivery of 18 Saab built Supporters, while 92 were assembled locally by PAC from knocked down kits and a further 149 were built locally by PAC. It is named Mushshak (Proficient) in Pakistani service. In 1981, Pakistan acquired sole manufacturing rights of the Supporter.
In the Pakistan Air Force College of Flying Training (CFT) Aviation Cadets go through flying/academic training for 3 years. Over the years, the College has developed a modern, scientific and systematic program of pilot training. It aims at equipping the Aviation Cadets with basic flying skills along with sound academic/professional background which eventually leads to the award of BSc degree. The College has two types of trainer aircraft namely MFI-17 Mushshak, which is being produced under licence in Pakistan and T-37, which is jet trainer of American origin. Recently, another jet trainer K-8, a joint venture of Pakistan and China has been added to the training fleet of the Academy. The training on these aircraft is designed to produce pilots for Pakistan Air Force and friendly countries. Aviation Cadets who successfully complete their flying training on MFI-17 and T-37 are awarded flying wings.
PAC has developed a further improvement MFI-395 Super Mushshak with a Lycoming IO-540 195kW (260hp) engine with a three blade propellor. Super Mushshak is a variant upgraded version of Mushshak fitted with a more powerful 260 HP engine, cockpit air-conditioning, electrical instruments, and electric cum manual elevator and rudder trim. The aircraft has been developed to meet FAR part 23 certification in categories normal, utility and aerobatics. It has spacious side by side cockpit giving good contact between the pilot and the co - pilot / observer or between the student and the instructor for the effective "watch me" instruction. Super Mushshak meets the requirements of a modern primary training syllabus and is an ideal basic trainer for basic flight training and instrument flying.
The PAC has successfully exported its products and services to Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On 01 August 2002 Pakistan handed over the five newly-built Super Mushshak aircraft to the Royal Air Force of Oman at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the secretary, defence production, Air Marshal Zahid Anis praised the efforts of the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) in establishing itself as a recognized equipment manufacturer.
The Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar bought a number of the PAC Super Mushshak (Proficient) fixed-gear basic trainer aircraft from Pakistan. In a statement released on 23 June 2016, the Pakistani Air Force said Deputy Chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik and Qatar's Air Academy Commander General Salim Hamad al-Nabit signed the agreement during a ceremony in the Qatari capital city of Doha. There were no immediate reports about the exact number of the single-piston engine aircraft that Qatar has purchased from Pakistan.
|MFI-17 Mushshak||MFI-395 Super Mushshak|
|Country of Origin||Sweden||Pakistan|
|Type||Two seat basic trainer|
|Powerplant||One 150kW (200hp) Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 flat four piston engine, driving a two blade propeller.||One 195kW (260hp) Lycoming IO-540-V4A5 six cylinder engine.|
|Max speed||236km/h (127kt)||145kt|
|cruising speed||108km/h (112kt)||130kt.|
|Max initial rate of climb||807ft/min.||1700ft/min.|
|Max range||622km.||850km (440 nm)|
|Accommodations||Seating for two side by side, with option of a third rear facing seat in the back.|
|Armament||Six underwing hardpoints, inner two stressed for 150kg (330lb) each, outer four for 100kg (220lb), for rocket and gun pods and Bofor Bantam anti tank missiles.|
|Operators:||Supporter - Denmark, Zambia. Mushshak - Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Syria.||Super Mushshak - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE|
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