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Grande Strategy

Munir's Analysis

Munir’s Analysis

Meinhaj Hussain

Following is an aggregation and summary of Brother Munir's posts in Pakdef. This is part of a series on the JF-17.Please note that this is a static page. His analysis will continue to be updated insh'Allah at this location.

Small Pipes in RD-93 Exhaust

Referring to pipes visible in this image:

These are possibly upgrades to make the engines less smoky. The RD-93 has very fast reaction times. The fuel-pump and gearbox has to keep pace. The fuel pump’s rpm needs to be reduced. Otherwise, more fuel goes into the combustion area than the engine can handle, causing a lack of full combustion and thus the dark smoke. Instead, one possible solution is to dump the fuel through these pipes. The top location of these pipes may be related to the RD-93s gearbox being on top as well.

An added benefit is that, with a few changes, these can be used as a smoke-system using colored diesel or as a flame torch similar to the F-111. They can also be used to dump fuel in case of an emergency.

Munir confirmed by discussing the issue with a technically qualified friend.

Reference Posts:

JF-17 Aerodynamics


Munir states that the highly visible vortices in Zhuhai [due to the extreme humidity] provide valuable information to the technically inclined observer. He analyzes that the vortices are leaving the body just before the tail because the elevators pushed the flow upwards. He notes the lower elevator responses compared to the F-16 for high G turns and implies that the LERX and the vortices play a role in explaining this.

Flaperons vs Ailerons & Flaps

Munir compares the use of flaperons in the F-16 with the use of separate flaps and ailerons in the JF-17.
Author’s note: Flaperons are single piece and combine the functionality of ailerons and flaps.

From analyzing JF-17 maneuvers, Munir notes that the JF-17 rolls fast because the ailerons are relatively far away from the center. Therefore, they need less force to achieve the same roll rate. He believes this contributes to lower RCS and energy consumption in maneuver. Munir suggests that it would be better to use a combination of elevators with the ailerons. He believes that with full FBW (Fly By Wire) the JF-17 will switch to this configuration.

Munir explains that he was not initially happy with the conventional arrangement of separate flaps and ailerons, but now, after viewing the maneuverability of the plane, believes this was a good idea. He thinks that the only negative aspect is that there is one less wing pylon on each wing. However, this may not be needed given modern net-centric warfare, 2-4 BVR AAMs can be considered enough.


Munir recalls that the difference in the air brakes of the JF-17 and the F-16 has been an issue he has pondered over. He confirms that the original drawings for the JF-17s were similar to the F-16s. He believes that a disadvantage is the distance of the air brakes to the center. Another disadvantage is the higher RCS. Another issue is that the air brake location on the wings negatively impacts life. He notes that the F-16s bigger engines and the JF-17s smaller engines may result in different solutions. Munir concludes that the JF-17 solution is a good redesign.

Delta vs. Conventional – Roll Rates

Munir notes that a delta cannot role faster than an equivalent conventional design without large increases in drag which in turn causes loss of kinetic energy. The large wing areas resist movement. He points that the legacy F-5 is still one of the fastest rolling fighter aircraft. He also notes that making comparisons from an air show are of dubious value, given that the JF-17 may not be performing maximum limit roll rates.


Multiple Rack Launchers

Munir suggests that multiple racks for dual BVRs would be an important improvement on the JF-17, giving it 4 BVRs, 2 WVRs and a gun (as well as 3 drop tanks). He suggests that for the air-to-ground role, 3-4 munitions per rack for smaller 50-100 kg smart LGBs would provide the perfect weapons load. Munir believes that with multiple racks, JF-17s can fulfill the vast majority of mission requirements.


Next Generation WVR AAMs

Munir believes the Chinese PL-10 with HMS will be comparable to the AIM-9X. The later combines the qualities of being small, having low RCS and being extremely agile. He believes this AAM strategy is superior to that of the German IRIS-T.

He also rebuts claims that the JF-17 and Erieye cannot data link.


Munir’s Accurate Information on the SD-10B

With the recent confirmation of the SD-10B, Munir is acknowledged to have stated this in October 2009 when he posted that not only does the SD-10B exist, but also that it is already operational and has 18 km more range than the earlier model.

He adds that he is not happy with the fixed external IFR although in re-evaluation, he finds that this solution is simple and effective.



Munir notes that the IRST on the JF-17 will allow stealth related tactics in air combat using data links with AWACS and / or ground radars. Munir paints the scenario of a JF-17 with IRST travelling low, fast and in such a stealth mode can surprise the opponent. He also notes that the IRST, while increasingly popular in Europe, is in fact better suited to the environment in Pakistan; because the weather in Pakistan is a lot less foggy and cloudy, allowing optimal IRST usage.

Munir explains that the mechanical AESA will be similar to the Gripen NG’s AESA solution. He considers this to be more effective than static AESAs. Munir considers this issue as an advantage not only for the JF-17, but also for the ZDK-03 and believes that the latter is better than the Erieye.

He believes that the reason behind using Chinese radars is also to keep information about key weapons like the Ra’ad LACM and H-2 and H-4 ASMs from western weapons suppliers. He adds that Pakistan’s operation of the F-16 Block 52s will help China build a better J-10B because PAF engineers and pilots now know what to aim for with certain subsystems.


Composites & Engines

Munir notes that composites will lower weight but also increase costs in acquisition and maintenance and increase complexity of manufacture. He believes that this makes marketing the JF-17 more flexible, with all aluminum models for lower end models and composite construction for higher end customers.

Munir believes that Pakistan may be able to acquire higher thrust engines for its Block 2 JF-17s. He points to the Russian RD-33 MK being marketed in Zhuhai. Munir indicates that a TVC equipped JF-17 can reduce drag in ACM, lower RCS due to less pronounced movement of control surfaces, shorten takeoffs and landings and do amazing aerobatics.

Vision Without Glasses


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