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Q-5 Nanchang
Q-5, A-5
ASCC codename: Fantan
Ground-Attack Fighter

The Q-5 is largely an indigenous Chinese development derived from the Soviet MiG-19. Short for Qiangjiji-5 (attack aircraft 5), the type was built in large quantities and numerically remains one of the most important aircraft in the Chinese arsenal. The Q-5 dates back to a 1950s requirement for a supersonic close-support aircraft with secondary air combat capability. Though cancelled in 1961, the project re-emerged after a prolonged development phase and finally entered production by the end of the 1960s.

While externally similar to the MiG-19 and Chinese J-6, the Q-5 is a much improved aircraft. The wings and aft fuselage are unchanged, but a completely new forward fuselage features two split engine inlets along each side of the nose. The new inlets free space for a new pointed nose accomodating an attack radar. The new fuselage is also narrower, conforming to the area-rule for transonic drag reduction, and stretched to make room for an enlarged internal weapons bay and additional fuel.

By the early 1990s, some 1,000 examples of the Q-5 had been built for the Chinese Air Force and Navy. The export A-5 variant has also been supplied to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Nanchang has successfully developed and sold additional upgraded versions featuring more advanced avionics with the help of Western electronics companies. Despite being based on obsolete technology, the simplicity, ruggedness, and low cost of the Q-5 make it attractive to many air forces.

Data below for Q-5 IA and A-5C
Last modified 17 March 2012

First Flight (Q-5) 4 June 1965
(A-5M) 30 August 1988
Service Entry


CREW: one: pilot



Wing Root TsAGI SR-12S (8.74%)
Wing Tip

TsAGI SR-7S (8%)

Length (Q-5 IA) 54.83 ft (16.74 m)
(A-5C) 51.35 ft (15.65 m)
Wingspan (Q-5 IA) 31.75 ft (9.68 m)
(A-5C) 31.83 ft (9.70 m)
Height (Q-5 IA) 14.23 ft (4.33 m)
(A-5C) 14.81 ft (4.52 m)
Wing Area 300.85 ft (27.95 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty (Q-5 IA) 14,055 lb (6,375 kg)
(A-5C) 14,315 lb (6,495 kg)
Normal Takeoff (Q-5 IA) 20,915 lb (9,485 kg)
(A-5C) 21,010 lb (9,530 kg)
Max Takeoff (Q-5 IA) 26,080 lb (11,830 kg)
(A-5C) 26,455 (12,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: 6,230 lb (2,825 kg)
external: 2,595 lb (1,180 kg)
Max Payload

4,410 lb (2,000 kg)

Powerplant two Liming (Shenyang) WP-6 afterburning turbojets (based on Tumanskii R-9BF811)
Thrust 14,330 lb (63.75 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 740 mph (1,190 km/h) at 36,090 ft (11,000 m), Mach 1.12
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 565 mph (910 km/h)
Initial Climb Rate 20,275 ft (6,180 m) / min
Service Ceiling 52,500 ft (16,000 m)
Range typical: 645 nm (1,200 km)
ferry: 1,080 nm (2,000 km)
g-Limits +5 at maximum takeoff weight
+7.5 at normal takeoff weight

Gun two 23-mm Type 23-2K cannons (100 rds ea)
Stations one internal bomb bay (original Q-5 only) and up to 10 external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile K-13/AA-2 Atoll, PL-2, PL-7, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Magic
Air-to-Surface Missile C-801 anti-ship, Durandal, anti-radiation missiles
Bomb up to four FAB-250 or two FAB-500 free-fall bombs in internal bay, FAB-50, FAB-100, cluster bombs, napalm, laser-guided bombs, up to one 20 kiloton nuclear bomb
Other 57-mm, 68-mm, 90-mm, or 130-mm rocket pods, torpedoes, ECM pods

Q-5 First production model with an internal bomb bay
Q-5 I Extended range model with the bomb bay replaced by additional fuel tanks for greater payload and range capability, also fitted with a new engine and other minor modifications, some delivered to the Chinese Navy with a nose radar and the ability to carry torpedoes or the C-801 anti-ship missile
Q-5 IA Improved Q-5 I model with two additional underwing pylons, increased payload, new weapon aiming system, pressure refueling facility, and improved countermeasures systems
Q-5 II or Q-5B Q-5 I aircraft retrofitted with the radar-warning receiver of the Q-5 IA, may also be equipped with a ranging radar, a laser rangefinder and designation system for use with laser-guided weapons, a HUD, a new mission computer, and upgraded electronic countermeasures
Q-5 III Upgraded version of the Q-5 I with more capable Western avionics
A-5C (Q-5 III) Export version of the Q-5 III with more capable Western avionics and the ability to fire AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, purchased by Pakistan and Bangladesh
Q-5K Upgraded version based on the Q-5 II featuring Western avionics such as a laser rangefinder, INS, and a HUD system from Thomson-CSF
A-5K Kong Yun Export version based on the Q-5K featuring Western avionics, did not enter production
Q-5M Upgraded model developed with Alenia and incorporating the avionics suite from the AMX attack fighter, also features more powerful engines and two additional hardpoints
A-5M Upgraded export version of the Q-5M, purchased by Myanmar




Bangladesh, Bangladesh Biman Bahini (Bangladeshi Defense Force Air Wing)
China, Zhongkuo Shenmin Taifang Tsunputai (People's Liberation Army Air Force)
Myanmar, Tamdaw Lay (Myanmar Armed Forces)
North Korea (Korean People's Army Air Force)
Pakistan, Pakistan Fiza'ya (Pakistani Air Force)
Sudan, Silakh al Jawwiya As'Sudaniya (Sudanese Air Force)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 280.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 680-681, Nanchang A-5 Fantan.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 212, Nanchang Q-5 'Fantan'.
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Air Combat: The Aircraft, Tactics and Weapons Employed in Aerial Combat Today. NY: Crescent Books, 1983, p. 138-139.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 184-185.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 78.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 26-27, Nanchang Q-5/A-5M (NATO name Fantan).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 12-13, Hongdu Q-5/A-5 (NATO name Fantan).
  • Winchester, Jim. Military Aircraft of the Cold War. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2006, p. 180-181, Nanchang A-5 'Fantan'.

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