Xian JH-7 Flying Leopard

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A PLANAF Xian JH-7A Flying Leopard seen at Yantai Laishan International Airport.

The Xian JH-7 Flying Leopard (Jianjiji Hongzhaji – fighter-bomber); NATO reporting name Flounder), also known as the FBC-1 (Fighter/Bomber China-1), is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber in service with the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF), and the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The main contractors are Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation (XAC) and the 603rd Aircraft Design Institute (later named the First Aircraft Institute of AVIC-1.)

The first JH-7s were delivered to the PLANAF in the mid-1990s for evaluation, with the improved JH-7A entering service in 2004.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • JH-7: Initial production version of the PLANAF anti-shipping fighter-bomber. The export variant is designated as the FBC-1 Flying Leopard.
  • JH-7A: Later production utilizing composite structure to reduce weight, improved flying control system and improved avionics including the JL10A Shan Ying J-band Pulse-Doppler radar. Weapon loads increased by the addition of two more wing hardpoints and two hardpoints under the intake trunking for mission pods such as targeting pods. The export variant is designated as the FBC-1A Flying Leopard II.
    • JH-7A2: Improved variant with enhanced air-to-ground munitions and carrying capabilities. The variant was first observed in 2019. The fighter-bomber was official unveiled on Zhuhai Airshow in 2021.
  • JH-7B: New variant, with upgraded avionics, WS-9A engines with 15% more thrust (14,100 lbf dry and 23,600 lbf on afterburners), in flight refueling, upgraded mission computer, full authority digital fly-by-wire system, and greater use of composite materials. The export variant is designated as the FBC-1B Flying Leopard III

Operators[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]