Chengdu J-5A

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Chengdu J-5A




China acquired a license to produce the early production model of the MiG-17PF to fulfill a PLAAF requirement for an all-weather interceptor. This version included an RP-5 Izumrud radar in an extended nose, with a search antenna integrated into the air intake upper lip and a tracking antenna housed in a small hemispherical intake. The cockpit windshield was modified to accommodate the gunsight and radar display, while the armament consisted of three NR-23 cannons.

In contrast to the day fighter variant, the Chengdu Aircraft Factory (now known as the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, CAC) was selected by the Bureau of Aircraft Industry in May 1961 to manufacture the interceptor. The Chinese iteration was designated as J-5A or J-5 Jia. To assist with production, the Shenyang factory dispatched a team of experts to Chengdu along with a complete set of jigs and tooling.

Manufacturing drawings were finalized in Chengdu in 1962, with the first metal being cut in March 1963. The static test airframe (C/N 01) was finished in June 1964, and static tests were conducted until September. Subsequently, on November 11, 1964, the unserialled J-5A prototype (C/N 02) successfully completed its maiden flight at Yanliang airfield near Xian, piloted by Wu Youchang. Certification was achieved the same year, and production of the interceptor began in 1965. The export variant was named F-5A (F for fighter).

By the time production ceased in 1969, a total of 767 single-seat J-5s had been manufactured (the exact ratio of ‘pure’ J-5s to J-5As remains unknown), with a peak output of 25 aircraft per month.

The J-5 family was retired in 1992.

Technical Data


Crew - 1

Length - 11.36 m

Height on Ground - 3.8 m

Wingspan - 9.628 m

Empty Weight - 4,302 kg

Gross Weight - 5,624 kg

Max Takeoff Weight - 5,624 kg

Powerplant - 1 x WP-5 Turbojet Engine (25.5 kN dry, 33.8 kN wet)

Max Speed - 1,145 km/h at 5,000 m

Rate of Climb - 55 m/s at 5,000 m, 32.3 m/s at 10,000 m

Range - 1,100 km, 1,730 km with auxiliary fuel tanks


3 x 23-1 23mm Cannons (100rpg)

2 x 250 kg Bombs

2 x 100 kg Bombs


RP-5 Izumrud Radar







(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft (Vol. 3) (Pg5-Pg6)

(Book) Chinese Aircraft China’s Aviation Industry Since 1951. - Page 25 - 26

(Book) China’s Navy Ships and Aircraft of the People’s Republic of China, 1955 - 2021 (Pg B-6)


8.7 BR same MiG-17, MiG-17F, MiG-17PF and Lim-5P