NAMC Q-5

Chinese name: Qiangjiji-5 (Attack aircraft 5)
Westernised designation: A-5
NATO reporting name: Fantan

TYPE: Single-seat close air support and ground attack aircraft, with air-to-air combat capability.

PROGRAMME: Derivative of J-6 fighter (see 1989-90 and earlier Jane’s for details of changes), originating August 1958 as Shenyang design proposal; responsibility assigned to Nanchang; prototype programme cancelled 1961, but kept alive by small team and resumed officially 1963; first flight 4 June 1965; preliminary design certificate awarded and preproduction batch authorised late 1965, but further modifications (to fuel, armament, hydraulic and other systems) found necessary, leading to flight test of two much modified prototypes from October 1969; series production approved at end of 1969, deliveries beginning 1970.

Improved Q-5 I proposed 1976, flight tested late 1980 and certificated for production 20 October 1981, by which time (April 1981) Pakistan had placed order for A-5C modified export version; first A-5C deliveries January 1983, completed January 1984; domestic Q-5 IA, incorporating many of A-5C improvements, certificated January 1985. Upgrade programmes involving Western avionics started in 1986 with France (Q-5K Kong Yun) and Italy (A-5M), but Kong Yun programme terminated 1990 (details in 1990-91 Jane’s) and A-5M also now in abeyance. Batch production of latest versions may continue.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Q-5: Initial production version, with internal fuselage bay approximately 4.00 m (13 ft 1{1/2} in) long for two 250 kg or 500 kg bombs, two underfuselage attachments adjacent bay for two similar bombs, and two stores pylons beneath each wing; Series 6 WP6 turbojets; brake-chute in tailcone, between upper and lower pen-nib fairings. Some adapted for nuclear weapon delivery tests in early 1970s.

Q-5 I: Extended payload/range version, with internal bomb bay blanked off and space used to enlarge main fuselage fuel tank and add a flexible tank; underfuselage stores points increased to four; improved series WP6 engines; modified landing gear; brake-chute relocated under base of rudder; improved Type I rocket ejection seat; HF/SSB transceiver added. Some aircraft, adapted for PLA Naval Air Force to carry two underfuselage torpedoes, reportedly have Doppler type nose radar and 20 m (66 ft) sea-skimming capability with C-801 anti-shipping missiles.
Q-5 IA: Improved Q-5 I, with additional underwing hardpoint each side (increasing stores load by 500 kg; 1,102 lb), new gun/bomb sighting systems, pressure refuelling, and added warning/countermeasures systems.
Q-5 II: As Q-5 IA, but fitted (or retrofitted) with radar warning receiver.
A-5C: Export version for Pakistan Air Force (and later customers), involving 32 modifications from Q-5 I, notably upgraded avionics, Martin-Baker PKD10 zero/zero seat, and adaptation of hardpoints for 356 mm (14 in) lugs compatible with Sidewinder missiles and other PAF weapons; three prototypes preceded production programme; in service with Nos. 7, 16 and 26 Squadrons of PAF, by whom designated A-5-III. Ordered also by Bangladesh and Myanmar. Description applies to Q-5 IA and A-5C except where indicated.

TYPE: Upgraded version of Q-5 II.

PROGRAMME: Begun 1 August 1986 by Alenia (Italy) and CATIC to upgrade nav/attack capability; two Q-5 IIs converted as prototypes; first one (first flight 30 August 1988) lost in crash 17 October same year; first flight of second prototype 8 March 1989; replacement for first aircraft completed subsequently; successful completion of development and flight testing announced 19 February 1991; plans reported mid-1992 for further improvements including Martin-Baker zero/zero seat, new Alenia ECM pod, and WP6A III engines (same ratings, but TBO increased from 150 to 300 hours). According to A-5M chief designer Yong Zhengqiu in early 1993, continuing upgrade programme was also to include wider use of radar-absorbent composites to reduce radar signature; addition of in-flight refuelling probe; installation of IR night vision equipment (helmet-mounted NVGs and electronic displays) and laser rangefinder; more powerful active jammer pod; and ability to carry laser-guided bombs and anti-radiation missiles. However, programme stated by NAMC spokesman in late 1996 to be suspended for lack of funding. See 1996-97 Jane’s for last known details.

A-5M: Upgraded version of Q-5 II, currently in abeyance; see next page and earlier Jane’s.

CUSTOMERS: China (PLA Air Force and Navy). Nearly 1,000 (all versions) built to date, including well over 100 for export to Asian (and, allegedly, African) countries including Bangladesh (24 A-5C ordered), North Korea (40 Q-5 IA), Myanmar (24 A-5C) and Pakistan (52 A-5-III).

DESIGN FEATURES: Mid-mounted sweptback wings with deep, full-chord fence on each upper surface at mid-span; air intake on each side of fuselage abreast of cockpit; twin jetpipes side by side at rear with upper and lower pen-nib fairings aft of nozzles; fuselage has area-ruled `waist'; rear fuselage detachable aft of wing trailing-edge for engine access; dorsal spine fairing; shallow ventral strake under each jetpipe; all-swept tail surfaces. Wings have 52° 30′ sweep at quarter-chord, 0° incidence and 4° anhedral from roots; tailplane has 6° 30′ anhedral.

FLYING CONTROLS: Internally balanced ailerons and fully powered slab tailplane; mechanically actuated mass balanced rudder; hydraulically actuated Gouge flaps on inboard trailing-edges; electrically operated trim tab in port aileron and rudder; forward-hinged, hydraulically actuated door type airbrake under centre of fuselage, forward of bomb attachment points; anti-flutter weight on each tailplane tip. Aileron deflection 18° 30′ up/down; tailplane 12° 30′ up/30° down; rudder 25° left/right.


Cockpit of NAMC A-5C

STRUCTURE: Conventional all-metal stressed skin structure. Multispar wings have three-point attachment to fuselage; fuselage built in forward and rear portions.

LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable wide-track tricycle type, with single wheel and oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber on each unit. Main units retract inward into wings, non-steerable nosewheel forward into fuselage, rotating through 87° to lie flat in gear bay. Mainwheels have size 830 x 205 mm tubeless tyres and disc brakes; nosewheel tyre size 595 x 230 mm. Tail braking parachute, deployed when aircraft is 1 m (3.3 ft) above the ground, in bullet fairing beneath rudder.

POWER PLANT: Two LM (Liming) WP6 turbojets, each rated at 25.5 kN (5,730 lb st) dry and 31.9 kN (7,165 lb st) with afterburning, mounted side by side in rear of fuselage. Improved WP6A engines (29.4 kN; 6,615 lb st dry and 39.7 kN; 8,930 lb st with afterburning) available optionally. Lateral air intake, with small splitter plate, for each engine. Hydraulically actuated nozzles. Internal fuel in three forward and two rear fuselage tanks with combined capacity of 3,648 litres (964 US gallons; 802.5 Imp gallons). Provision for carrying a 760 litre (201 US gallon; 167 Imp gallon) drop tank on each centre underwing pylon, to give maximum internal/external fuel capacity of 5,168 litres (1,366 US gallons; 1,136.5 Imp gallons). When centre wing stations are occupied by bombs, a 400 litre (105.7 US gallon; 88 Imp gallon) drop tank can be carried instead on each outboard underwing pylon.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only, under one-piece jettisonable canopy which is hinged at rear and opens upward. Downward view over nose, in level flight, is 13° 30′. Low-speed seat allows for safe ejection within speed range of 135 to 458 kt (250 to 850 km/h; 155 to 528 mph) at zero height or above. Aircraft in Pakistani service have Martin-Baker PKD10 zero/zero seats. Armour plating in some areas of cockpit to protect pilot from anti-aircraft gunfire. Cockpit pressurised and air conditioned.

SYSTEMS: Dual air conditioning systems, one for cockpit environment and one for avionics cooling. Two independent hydraulic systems, each operating at pressure of 207 bars (3,000 lb/sq in). Primary system actuates landing gear extension and retraction, flaps, airbrake and afterburner nozzles; auxiliary system supplies power for aileron and all-moving tailplane boosters. Emergency system, operating pressure 108 bars (1,570 lb/sq in), for actuation of main landing gear. Electrical system (28 V DC) powered by two 6 kW engine-driven starter/generators, with two inverters for 115 V single-phase and 36 V three-phase AC power at 400 Hz.

AVIONICS: Space provision in nose and centre-fuselage for additional or updated avionics.
Comms: CT-3 VHF transceiver; YD-3 IFF (`Odd Rods’ type aerials under nose on Q-5s, replaced on some A-5Cs by single blade antenna).
Flight: WL-7 radio compass; WG-4 low-altitude radio altimeter; LTC-2 horizon gyro; XS-6 marker beacon receiver.
Instrumentation: SH-1J or ABS1A optical sight for level and dive bombing, or for air-to-ground rocket launching.
Self-defence: Type 930 RWR (antenna in fin-tip).

EQUIPMENT: Combat camera in small teardrop fairing on starboard side of nose (not on export models). Landing light under fuselage, forward of nosewheel bay and offset to port; taxying light on nosewheel leg.

ARMAMENT: Internal armament consists of one 23 mm cannon (Norinco Type 23-2K), 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 (one inboard and two outboard of mainwheel leg). Fuselage stations can each carry a 250 kg bomb (Chinese 250-2 or 250-3, US Mk 82 or Snakeye, French Durandal, or similar). Inboard wing stations can carry 6 kg or 25 lb practice bombs, or a pod containing eight Chinese 57-2 (57 mm), seven 68 mm, or seven Norinco 90-1 (90 mm) or four 130-1 (130 mm) rockets. Centre wing stations can carry a 500 kg or 750 lb bomb, a BL755 600 lb cluster bomb, a Chinese 250-2 or -3 bomb, US Mk 82 or Snakeye, French Durandal, or similar, or a Chinese C-801 anti-shipping missile. Normal bomb carrying capacity is 1,000 kg (2,205 lb), maximum capacity 2,000 kg (4,410 lb). Instead of bombs, centre wing stations can each carry a 760 litre drop tank (see Power Plant paragraph) or ECM pod. Outboard wing stations can each be occupied by a 400 litre drop tank (when the larger tank is not carried on the centre wing station) or by air-to-air missiles such as PL-2, PL-2B, PL-7, AIM-9 Sidewinder and R550 Magic. Within overall maximum T-O weight, all stores mentioned can be carried provided that CG shift remains within allowable operating range of 31 to 39 per cent of mean aerodynamic chord; more than 22 external stores configurations possible. Some early aircraft in Chinese service modified to carry a single 5 to 20 kT nuclear bomb.


This `Fantan’, displayed at Zhuhai in November 1996, appeared to
be a new-production aircraft



NAMC A-5C `Fantan’ single-seat twin-jet combat aircraft


LENGTH (m) : 15.65
HEIGHT (m) : 4.33
WING SPAN (m) : 9.68
MAX T-O WEIGHT (kg) : 9486
MAX WING LOAD (kg/m{2}) : 339.40
MAX LEVEL SPEED (knots) : 643
MAX RANGE (nm) : 982
SERVICE CEILING (m) : 15850
T-O RUN (m) : 750
LANDING RUN (m) : 1060.0
MAX RATE CLIMB (m/min) : 8880