Harbin H-5 LGB Testbed

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Note: This is not the aircraft that carried the LGBs, simply one that matches the charaistics.

Harbin H-5 LGB Testbed

PLAAF

Background

Spoiler

The initial laser-guided bombs developed in China were built upon a technique primarily dependent on shape analysis through photographic means.

The responsibility of conducting research and development in the realm of aerial bombs was naturally assigned to the “national team” known as 624 Factory (Harbin Jiancheng Machinery Factory). The development project team at Factory 624, specializing in laser-guided bombs, initiated the program demonstration in 1974. After several years of meticulous work, the technical specifications of the bomb were finalized in 1980, leading to the production of the initial batch of sample bombs.

To ensure thorough testing and evaluation of the bomb’s performance, 624 Factory had to collaborate with the nearest bomber unit to modify a launch system suitable for this particular type of bomb. Since its inaugural payload flight in September 1981, the H-5 aircraft successfully undertook the testing of the first-generation laser-guided bomb manufactured in China for a duration of approximately two years. Subsequently, between 1984 and 1985, it accomplished the live-fire target test at a designated shooting range.

Despite the fact that the bomb’s performance is undoubtedly less impressive compared to the advanced “Paveway” utilized by the US military during that period, the bomb’s technology had met the necessary equipment requirements. However, during the mid-80s when military expenditures were constrained, and the PLAAF clearly lacked any additional financial capacity, both mass production of bombs and the modification of other aircraft would require additional funds, which would have to be postponed. Hence, despite the commencement of equipping the supporting irradiation tracking pods at Yanliang before the “unofficial” disembarkation in 1986, the initial iteration of domestic laser-guided bombs was unable to evade the destiny of being abandoned as a shelved project.

Technical Data

Specifications

Crew - 1 Pilot, 1 Gunner

Length - 16.768 m

Height - 6.2 m

Wingspan - 21.45 m

Empty Weight - 12,890 kg

Max Takeoff Weight - 21,200 kg

Engine - 2 x WP-5 Turbojet engines (2,678 kgf)

Max Speed - 902 km/h at 4,500 m

Range - 2,325 km

Armament

1 x 2 x 23mm NR-23 cannons in tail turret.

1 x 23mm NR-23 cannon

2 x 500 kg LT-1 LGB (Outboard Pylons)

12 x 100 kg FAB-100M-43 bombs.

8 x 250 kg FAB-250M-46 bombs.

4 x 500 kg FAB-500M-46 bombs.

1 x 1,500 kg FAB-1500M-46 bomb.

1 x 3,000 kg FAB-3000M-46 bomb

(Note that in the background it reports testing of an onboard laser targeting system, this was most likely stored in the bomb bay or in the front observation area)

Images

Spoiler

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Sources

Spoiler

Thunder-1 (LT-1) 7712 laser-guided bomb (globalsecurity.org)

jishulink

(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, Vol 3. Page 172

2 Likes

A great addition to the Chinese bomber line! +1