Defencetalk.com / Amjad Afaf,
Chengdu and FC-1/JF-17's development
Many commentators have been dismissive of Chinese design and research capabilities. However, these allegations are based on historical developments, which have not been explained. Recent developments in the Chinese aerospace industry have been impressive and the FC-1/JF-17 is no exception. It is of course true, that foreign input and assistance has been substantial to enabling the Chinese to develop a competitive aerospace industry.
The Chengdu designs bureau initially specialised in single-seat/single engine fighters while twin-engine designs were generally contracted to Shenyang. Hongdu specialised at bombers while Nachang at trainers and attack aircraft and Xian twin-engine variants (an occasionally single-engine) fighters. Xian is engaged in the HJ-7A 'Flying Leopard' Maritime strike aircraft while Hongdu has assisted in the K-8 'Karakarom' intermediate trainer project with Pakistan's PA