China’s First Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, Capable of Hitting Ground Targets, Makes Debut
Aircraft (Representational Image/ Photo Credit: PTI)

Beijing, Sep 29: China's first home-grown multi-role combat aircraft has made its maiden flight, the state media reported on Saturday. The FTC-2000G, developed by state-owned defence company Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), is a fixed-wing, multi-role combat plane mainly tasked with airstrikes against ground targets. It flew for about 10 minutes amid thick clouds in Guizhou, a China Daily report said. The aircraft can double up as a fighter or trainer aircraft, according to AVIC. Information from AVIC showed the twin-seat plane is a modified version of an advanced training jet that has been deployed by the Chinese Air Force and Navy. China to Launch Advanced Space Cargo Aircraft in 2019.

It has a maximum speed of Mach 1.2, or 1,470 km per hour, a maximum takeoff weight of 11 metric tons, a maximum flight range of 2,400 km, and an operational flight ceiling of 15 km. Equipped with modern radar and fire-control systems, it is capable of staying airborne for three hours in a single operation and can carry three tons of missiles, rockets or bombs, according to the company. China's First Indigenously Designed Aircraft Carrier Embarks On Sea Trials, Likely To Be Inducted in 2019.

As a light-duty attack aircraft or fighter jet, the FTC-2000G is able to replace old models fielded by developing countries such as China's J-7 and the former Soviet Union's Mig-21. As a trainer, it can replace China's FT-7 or British BAE Systems Hawk and can work with AVIC's K-8 intermediate jet to form an advanced training system for military pilots.