The JianJiao-7 (JJ-7, export name: FT-7) is the two-seat fighter-trainer version of the Chengdu J-7 (MiG-21 Fishbed) fighter, made by Guizhou Aviation Industry Group Co (GAIGC) since 1981. The JJ-7 was developed from the J-7II airframe and resembles the Russian MiG-21U Mongol-A fighter-trainer in design and general performance. The PLA is currently looking for a successor to the JJ-7 as its next-generation advanced fighter-trainer aircraft, with the Guizhou JL-9 and Nanchang Hongdu JL-15 being the potential candidates.
The PRC obtained an example of the MiG-21U from Egypt in 1979, and the aircraft was later handed over to Guizhou for reverse-engineering. The aircraft made its maiden flight in July 1985 and was certified for design finalisation in 1987. The JJ-7 production began in late 1987. A s well as serving with the PLA, the aircraft was also sold to foreign customers under the designation FT-7.
The JJ-7 has been widely used by the PLAAF and PLANAF for J-7 and J-8 pilots training. Generally similar to the J-7II fighter in aerodynamic performance, the JJ-7 has increased take-off/landing speeds and is less manoeuvrable. The aircraft provides a poor cockpit visibility, particularly for the trainer seated in the rear cockpit.
As a two-seat variation, the JJ-7 has a second cockpit added for the trainer. One more vertical fin is fitted to maintain the stability after the body change. As the second cockpit reduces the size of the main internal fuel tanks, the aircraft has an enlarged dorsal spine behind the cockpit to provide additional space for extra fuel.
The two canopies are both to be opened to the right hand. A periscope could be used by the trainer in the rear seat during the take-off and landing. The JJ-7 has dual flight control systems and an intercom for communications between the two pilots. For training purpose, the aircraft is equipped with a fault simulation system that can control the aircraft to simulate various emergent situations. A flight information recorder can record the flight data for later analysis and reviewing. The aircraft is also fitted with improved air-conditioning.
The aircraft is powered by a WP-7B turbojet engine rated at 43.15kN dry and 59.82kN with afterburning. Onboard avionics include a Type 226 ranging radar, SM-8AE optical sight, CT-3 radio, BDP-4B horizontal direction indicator, and LZ-2-II compass. Later variants were also fitted with head-up displays (HUD) and radar warning receiver (RWR).
The JJ-7 retained some combat capability, with a 30mm Type 30-I cannon carrying 60 rounds fitted in the lower fuselage. The centre fuselage station is bumped to carry a 720 litre drop tank. The two under-wing stations can carry two 480 litre drop tanks, or armaments such as PL-2 or PL-5 air-to-air missile or unguided rocket launcher. The improved JJ-7P has four under-wing stations to carry additional armaments.
- JJ-7 (FT-7): Copy of the MiG-21U Mongol-A. First flew in July 1985
- JJ-7A (FT-7A): Improved variant
with HUD and updated avionics. First flew in November 1990
- FT-7P: Export variant for the Pakistani
Air Force (PAF)
- FT-7B: Export variant
- FT-7N: Export variant
- FT-7PG: Export variant for the PAF
Dimensions: Wingspan: 7.154m; Length: 13.950m; Height: 4.100m
Weight: Max take-off 8,500kg
Max speed: Mach 2.05
Ferry range: 1,010km
Last update: 24 March 2008