JF-17/FC-1 Fighter Aircraft thread


Dizasta1

Senior Member
I believe the Saber-ll program was based on matching as closely to the capabilities of the F-16s, as possible with what technologies were available at the time. If I'm not mistaken, then Grumman's involvement was much appreciated for these reasons. Logically speaking, why would Pakistan Air Force try to co-develop a fighter based on a design which is inferior to the F-16s it was already operating? It wouldn't make sense at all to be doing something like that. Hence I disagree with the statement that JF-17s are based on the MiG-21s. If anything Pakistan Air Force would be using the F-16s as basis to design the Thunder. Also, is it no so, that Pakistan Air Force operated the F-16s long before it started operating the F-7s which are a derivative of MiG-21s?
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
I believe the Saber-ll program was based on matching as closely to the capabilities of the F-16s, as possible with what technologies were available at the time. If I'm not mistaken, then Grumman's involvement was much appreciated for these reasons. Logically speaking, why would Pakistan Air Force try to co-develop a fighter based on a design which is inferior to the F-16s it was already operating? It wouldn't make sense at all to be doing something like that. Hence I disagree with the statement that JF-17s are based on the MiG-21s. If anything Pakistan Air Force would be using the F-16s as basis to design the Thunder. Also, is it no so, that Pakistan Air Force operated the F-16s long before it started operating the F-7s which are a derivative of MiG-21s?
Because neither Pakistan nor China has the adequate level of technological know how to create a fighter that is roughly on par with the F-16 at the time. Nor did Pakistan had the luxury of waiting for it's level of understanding to catch up. India at that time has a potent fleet of Mig-29s as well as the newly inducted Su-30s which represents a powerful tipping of the status quo. Operating a fighter is one thing, but to built one is a whole other matter entirely.
Grumman pulling out of the project meant that alot of the know-how also went with them.
I find it amusing to the extreme that there is such an abhorrence to acknowledging the JF-17's roots in the Mig-21. An airframe alone does not automatically determines the capability of a fighter (indeed the Mig-21 was a very capable warplane for it's time), other factors like avionics and subsequent modifications like wing design will also have to be taken into account.
 
Last edited:

SinoSoldier

Colonel
Saber-II was definitely an offshoot of the Super-7, which in turn was a heavily redesigned J-7.

I don't think that having roots in a legacy airframe necessarily dictates a platform's performance or potential. The F-16 itself is over forty years old. There is enough of a difference and gap between the prototype JF-17 PT.01 and the Gripen-E-class Block III that it warrants the latter being classified in its own league.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
I will disagree on this, the Super 7 was based in turn on the Mig-21. With all subsequent derivatives showing little substantial differentiation. Therefore it is not wrong to say that the JF-17 finds its roots in the Mig-21. This is in no way criticizing the JF-17, but merely acknowledging it's lineage.
While subsequent JF-17 designs shows such improvements like the AESA radar that you have highlighted, it must be noted that such selections are also available on other fighters on the market as well, with other nations like Russia offering just as few, if not even less, political strings in the process.
While all of this, again, does not reduce the capability of the JF-17 in anyway. It is highly unlikely to reach the kind of legendary production like those associated with the F-16 and Mig-29. These fighters represents truly revolutionary designs and concepts of their time.
It's a little bit dishonest to involve the F-16 and Mig-29 into this discussion like you did. No one has mentioned those fighters and you bringing them into the conversation with the suggestion that JF-17 will unlikely reach the production level of those fighters is useful only to talk down the JF-17 subtly. It isn't to compete with those fighters which cost several times more than JF-17 and yet JF-17 block 3 with AESA and PL-12D/ PL-15 easily defeats Mig-29 on many levels in the only way anyone can compare them, on paper. There is no evidence the JF-17 is structurally identical to Mig-21. If it is "based off" the Mig-21, what does that even mean? What are the quantifiable consequences of something "based off" Mig-21? JF-17 can pull same G limits as many fourth gens and even F-35. It is electronically upgraded to leave the legacy fourth gens in the dust. It is cheap and easy to build in great numbers if PAF so wishes to have a large force of JF-17s and not be at the mercy of another nation. It's all that simple.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Until someone gives evidence on how a fighter based on Mig-21 will be limited, that whole line is worthless. What exactly are the consequences? They only use this line to hint at JF-17 being a 3rd gen fighter in kinematic performance. Yet it is clearly far better than any 3rd gen fighter and JF-17's kinematic performance is at worst, almost as good as most 4th gens. A better pilot in the JF-17 means JF-17 wins. Better avionics and missiles again also shifts favour to JF-17.

If Mig-29 is still relevant today, why did UAC upgrade it to Mig-35? Okay so Mig-35 is the "bee's knees" now with all these modern avionics but while the fight has become more focused on missiles, communication, sensors, and range, JF-17 upgrades allows it all these abilities to match the latest 4th gens. As far as anyone can know on paper. If one wishes to doubt that, they should equally doubt capabilities of any and all other modernised 4th gens. Or at least the other side can be granted similar skepticism. The only thing limiting JF-17 therefore is mainly its range and payload. However PAF wishes for more numbers than payload, and range isn't that big a deal for PAF and most potential customers either.

IFR exists now and block 3 will have even greater upgrades. All done with budget in mind. The number one priority for this fighter is keeping up to date with electronic and software developments while maintaining its main advantage; being able to be purchased in great numbers owing to its affordability and PAF being unhindered by international politics when it comes to getting access to fighters.
 

Gloire_bb

Junior Member
Registered Member
why would Pakistan Air Force try to co-develop a fighter based on a design which is inferior to the F-16s it was already operating
Because basing(i.e.using parts of design which do their job just fine and not reinventing the wheel) in no way is simillar to being an inferior aircraft. It is about keeping commonality.
Was this commonality worth it? Well, for sure it was. Later production Mig-21 costed less than IFVs(bmp-1 itself being cheap as f), remaining viable combat aircraft well into 1980s.
If anything, mig-21/j-7 represented something very sought after, a quality modern aircraft industry doesn't really want to produce.
Jf-17, btw, is closest thing to this niche availible.

Furthermore, f-16 is a very interesting take. Technological level of early f-16 was extremely high, it was literally wonder sitting on another wonder: piece-of-art wing design, extremely light yet durable internal structure, controls, high instability and more, all this flying on single powerful yet reliable engine. It won't be a stretch to say what no ciuntry other than the US could use same level of decisions in 1970s and even 1980s.
Yet...and what? You can't kill anyone by exquisite titanium framing, other than in melee fight. With all these extreme tech, early falcon was inferior fighter design to both internal and external competitors, and had to play catch up game already by late 1980s.

Yes, some of decisions in jf-17 clearly date back to original mig-21. Those which won't affect its performance in measurable ways, or those which are simply unviable to replace for their ultimate advantage.
The whole fc-1 program was about spending money in the most optimal way.
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
It's a little bit dishonest to involve the F-16 and Mig-29 into this discussion like you did. No one has mentioned those fighters and you bringing them into the conversation with the suggestion that JF-17 will unlikely reach the production level of those fighters is useful only to talk down the JF-17 subtly. It isn't to compete with those fighters which cost several times more than JF-17 and yet JF-17 block 3 with AESA and PL-12D/ PL-15 easily defeats Mig-29 on many levels in the only way anyone can compare them, on paper. There is no evidence the JF-17 is structurally identical to Mig-21. If it is "based off" the Mig-21, what does that even mean? What are the quantifiable consequences of something "based off" Mig-21? JF-17 can pull same G limits as many fourth gens and even F-35. It is electronically upgraded to leave the legacy fourth gens in the dust. It is cheap and easy to build in great numbers if PAF so wishes to have a large force of JF-17s and not be at the mercy of another nation. It's all that simple.
I would highly advise you to refer back to my original post before hand, as well as the entirety of the discussion before jumping to a hasty conclusion. I was referring to another poster's claim that the JF-17 could have reach 1000 units in production if it was build as a two seater.
Historically fighter productions during peacetime rarely ever reached more than 600-800 units depending on the needs of a particular nation, this number includes even planes of excellent design like the Mirage 2000, the Panavia Tornado and the F-14. It is only when a fighter received the combination of both a truly revolutionary design and the luck of an extensive networking and alliances. Very few fighters have ever reached such status, the chief of which is the F-16 and the Mig-29. For a nation like Pakistan, a number of 400-600 would be the most likely number, given it's GDP and area of operations. We can throw in perhaps another 100 units for foreign export, because while Pakistan have no existing disputes with most of the world, it does not have much networking as well.
And again, it must be understood that bringing in foreign comparisons when debating the facts of an issue does not, does not, in anyway automatically implies a subtly degradation of the original subject or person at hand, but it merely brings into perspective the reality of the issue.
 

Zahid

Junior Member
So, we have progressed from JF-17 being "based" on or off Mig-12 to JF-17 having "roots" in Mig-21? I will take that as an accomplishment. Indeed, both Mig-21 & JF-17 have a nose, a couple of wings, a canopy, an empennage, a rudder, wheels, etc... Both also have a cruciform design shape. Obviously both are related in some way. Some people may have the ability to count ribs and discuss the typology of the wing-body joints; or point at the swept nature of wings. I suppose they could plausibly contend that JF-17 & Mig-21 are indeed related. Since Mig-21 came before JF-17, one could opine that JF-17 is based on Mig-21 or have roots in Mig-21 design. I think some illusions are impossible to get rid of. Therefore I resign myself to hearing about the Mig-21 & JF-17 relation off and on. Haters will try all the different subtle ways. Fortunately, decision-makers have different views and tend to weigh matters not on emotions but on multi-dimensional analysis.

If Mr. Victor Jav insists on his interpretation then indeed, as suggested by @ougoah, he must provide objective facts (inherited design similarities) to support his contention.
 

Zahid

Junior Member
I would highly advise you to refer back to my original post before hand. I was referring to another poster's claim that the JF-17 could have reach 1000 units in production if it was build as a two seater.
Historically fighter productions during peacetime rarely ever reached more than 600-800 units depending on the needs of a particular nation, this number includes even planes of excellent design like the Mirage 2000, the Panavia Tornado and the F-14. It is only when a fighter received the combination of both a truly revolutionary design and the luck of an extensive networking and alliances. Very few fighters have ever reached such status, the chief of which is the F-16 and the Mig-29. For a nation like Pakistan, a number of 400-600 would be the most likely number, given it's GDP and area of operations. We can throw in perhaps another 100 units for foreign export, because while Pakistan have no existing disputes with most of the world, it does not have much networking as well.
And again, it must be understood that bringing in foreign comparisons when debating the facts of an issue does not, does not, in anyway automatically implies a subtly degradation of the original subject or person at hand, but it merely brings into perspective the reality of the issue.
It is not about 1000 units. Its about your language and the way you describe JF-17 as being based off Mig-21. There would not be this conversation if you had only written about 1000 units being implausible.
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
So, we have progressed from JF-17 being "based" on or off Mig-12 to JF-17 having "roots" in Mig-21? I will take that as an accomplishment. Indeed, both Mig-21 & JF-17 have a nose, a couple of wings, a canopy, an empennage, a rudder, wheels, etc... Both also have a cruciform design shape. Obviously both are related in some way. Some people may have the ability to count ribs and discuss the typology of the wing-body joints; or point at the swept nature of wings. I suppose they could plausibly contend that JF-17 & Mig-21 are indeed related. Since Mig-21 came before JF-17, one could opine that JF-17 is based on Mig-21 or have roots in Mig-21 design. I think some illusions are impossible to get rid of. Therefore I resign myself to hearing about the Mig-21 & JF-17 relation off and on. Haters will try all the different subtle ways. Fortunately, decision-makers have different views and tend to weigh matters not on emotions but on multi-dimensional analysis.

If Mr. Victor Jav insists on his interpretation then indeed, as suggested by @ougoah, be must provide objective facts (inherited design similarities) to support his contention.
If I recall correctly, the exact word was "derived", not "based" as you claim. "Derived" is defined as having its original source based off, which in the JF-17 we can draw a clear line back to the Mig-21. If you consider outright muddling of the wording of my post to be an accomplishment, your standards must be very low indeed.
And stop with the ad homenim please, decrying anyone who disagrees with you as a "hater" does not automatically elevates your stand to any higher level of standard. Unless of course what you are gunning for is a level of self entitled smugness and ignorance.
 

Top