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Mikoyan joins Chengdu on fighter


(CAC) has teamed with
Mikoyan MAPO to design and
produce a new single-engine
fighter to replace China's now
defunct Super-7 project
The FC-1 is being developed as
a private venture funded by CAC,
China National Aero-Technology
Import and Export (CATIC) and
Pakistan. The aircraft is aimed
principally at the export market,
with the Pakistan air force expected to be the initial user.
CATIC is pushing for support
from Aviation Industries of China
(AVIC) and is confident of selling
the lightweight fighter to China's
PLA air force.
The aircraft has been under
development since 1991, and is
now in the detailed design phase.
Two partial forward- and rearfuselage mock-ups have been
completed. A single-seat proto-

Chengdu's FC-1 emergesfromshadows with Mikoyan assistance

type is scheduled for a first flight
in 1997. A two-seat aircraft is also
Production is due to begin in
1999 at CAC. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex will initially
produce parts for the FC-1 and is

discussing the establishment of a

second production line.
Mikoyan is providing design
support and has seconded a team
of engineers to CAC. The aircraft resembles an earlier
Mikoyan design given the inter-

nal designation MiG-33. The

design, developed in the early
1980s, was intended as a light
dogfight aircraft.
The FC-1 has been designed
around the 80kN (18,3001b)thrust Klimov RD-93 turbofan.
The engine is an improved modular development of the RD-33
engine, which was also intended to
power the MiG-3 3.
The FC-1 design, however, differs with adoption of twin sidemounted air intakes. Liyang
Machinery, of Guizhou, plans to
produce the RD-93 under licence
in China.
It will feature seven hardpoints,
including wingtip pylons for PL7/10 short-range air-to-air missiles.
A pulse-Doppler multi-role radar
has yet to be selected. Pakistan is
expected to make a decision on its
own avionics suite and weapon system witJiin three to five months. J

Airbus takes charge of the FLA Europe launches GPS plan

formally taken over management of the Future Large Aircraft
(FLA) military-transport programme, bringing together the
five major European aerospace
companies involved under a single
The question of Italian involvement in the subsidiary was settled
only minutes before the FLA
announcement at Paris. Alenia is
believed to have joined only on
condition that it was exempted
from a clause under which it
would work exclusively on the
FLA programme. This reflected
the likely
Italian decision to follow the UK
and buy a

A European
Staff Requirement
for (FLA)

heads for Airbus

&<&&& tran-

sport is also

near to agreement, clearing the

path to an intergovernmental
memorandum of understanding
(MoU) later this year, which will
effectively launch the programme.
France, Italy, Spain, Germany and
the UK are the principal nations.
Michel Bruot, FLA programme
manager, Airbus Operations, says
that the intergovernmental accord
will fix not only the conditions of
pre-development phase, but the
management framework.
Agreement on the MoU would
see the pre-development phase
begin in January 1996. The first
flight is scheduled for the end of
2001, and delivery to the first customers at the end of 2003.
Decisions on workshares will be
included in the MoU, says British
Aerospace Airbus head of FLA
marketing, David Jennings.
Most contentious is DASA's
attempt to wrest responsibility for
the wing from established UK
Airbus wingbuilder British Aerospace. Three possible wing designs
are being studied, says Bruot: all
carbon fibre- composite; carbon
fibre-composite skin with metal
internal structure; and all metal. Q


HE EUROPEAN Commission (EC), European

Space Agency (ESA) and Eurocontrol have launched a five-year
European Satellite Navigation
Action Programme, with an initial
budget of about $200 million.
Europe wants to take ultimate
control of satellite navigation services within its own airspace and
not rely on military-based US
global-positioning-system (GPS)
and Russian GLONASS satellites,
the organisations say.
Included in the plan are the
Global Navigation
Systems (GNSS) 1 and 2. The
main objective of die GNSS 1 is to
develop technologies to ensure
that the GPS and GLONASS are
available for civil use, on a reliable

basis with the required precision.

The GNSS 1 will use two
Inmarsat 3 satellites over the
Atlantic and Indian oceans, each
equipped with navigation payloads.
The first of five planned Inmarsat
3s will be launched in 1996.
The satellites will enable aircraft, ships and other vehicles to
determine their positions with a
greater precision than will be possible using GPS or GLONASS
data alone. Civil users of these systems receive artificially degraded
data, deviating by about 100m.
The GNSS 2 will prepare for a
second-generation satellite navigation and positioning system, to
be deployed between 2005 and
2020, and which would be controlled internationally.

Romania to buy 96 AH-1F Cobras

OMANIA IS TO procure 96
AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters in a major co-operative
programme agreed between the
country's Government and manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron.
The aircraft will be licenceproduced in Romania, and deliv-

eries will begin in 1999. IAR

Brasov will be responsible for the
airframe and Turbomeccanica
the dynamics system,
The AH-IF is an upgraded version of the AH-IS, witli a more
powerful engine and uprated transmission.