Initially it was anticipated that the FC-1 would be a high- performance, low-cost fighter plane to supplement the F-10 air superiority fighters developed for the Chinese Air Force. But with the participation of MASPG, the Russians are using the FC-1 as a continuation of the MiG-33 [R33] program developed in the 1980s. Like the MiG-33, the FC-1 uses the "Zhuk" pulse Doppler radar and RD93 turbofans, though the FC-1 features air inlets on the lateral sides of the fuselage rather than the ventral inlets of the MiG-33. With Russian technical assitance the redesigned FC-11 has improved climbout performance and steering capabilities along with a stronger fuselage. However, the most apparent modifications to the MiG-33 design is the repositioning of the ventral fins from the engine compartment to the added tail edgings, providing aerial maneuverability that is claimed to match that of the American F16. These improvement in performance have affected the program's costs, and if the final production order if fewer than 300 aircraft the unit price will rise from the original $10 million to $15 million.Consequently, the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) is trying to persuade the Chinese Air Force to use the FC-1 so as to increase the production run and reduce the unit cost. But the Chinese military has resisted, being of the view that equiping the Air Force with two types of fighter planes with similar performance within the same time period would both consume limited financial resources and complicate logistical support for dissimilar aircraft. The FC-1 was to make it's first flight in 1996, but the project was delayed when Pakistan sought to upgrade the performance characteristics of the FC-1 to respond to India's acquisition of Su-30MKIs. After several years of stagnation, the Pakistani Prime Minister's February 1998 trip to China resulted in an agreement to continue development of the fighter. Currently Pakistan is interested in acquiring at least 150 fighters, with the Chinese contemplating acquiring over 200.
|WING SPAN||9.5 meters|
|MAX T-O WEIGHT||12,500 kilograms|
|MAX LEVEL SPEED||1031 knots|
|MAX RANGE||864 nautical miles|
|SERVICE CEILING||16,000 meters|
|T-O RUN||500 meters|
|LANDING RUN||700 meters|