- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Q-5A is a rank VI Chinese strike aircraft with a battle rating of 10.0 (AB), 9.3 (RB), and 10.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update "New Power".
The Q-5A is externally very similar to the Q-5 early aside from the pure white paint scheme. This variant has several new features: it now has access to flares and a radar warning receiver and can use 130 mm rockets with impressive explosive power for ground attack. The flight performance has also been improved noticeably courtesy of the more powerful engines. The Q-5A's battle rating is the same as the J-6A and its air-to-air armament and high-speed handling are disappointing compared to its peers. This is not an aircraft for the faint of heart, but Fantan fans may be able to use the new features creatively.
The Q-5A weighs negligibly more when empty than the Q-5 early, which is more than compensated by the fact that its engines produce about 15% more thrust. Its top speed is now practically the same as or in some cases slightly better than the J-6A under 10,000 meters. The internal bomb bay has been replaced with a fuel tank and the maximum fuel capacity is now 70% larger.
It still compresses more in dives and has somewhat worse low speed handling than the J-6A, but at reasonable fuel settings the Q-5A comes very close to the J-6A in terms of climb, acceleration, and energy retention. The control compression can be considered its primary weakness: watch the indicated airspeed carefully and remember to throttle back or use airbrakes as needed to ensure that the Q-5A remains controllable. The turn rate and manoeuvring energy retention are quite balanced at subsonic speeds, which can be used to gain the upper hand in extended dogfights.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 540||< 650||< 350||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Shenyang Liming WP-6||2||6,593 kg||337 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||34m fuel|
|725 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||7,424 kg||8,256 kg||9,087 kg||9,420 kg||12,500 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||34m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||2,650 kgf||3,709 kgf||1.00||0.90||0.82||0.79||0.59|
|Optimal|| 2,677 kgf
| 3,786 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 10 mm steel plate behind nose cone
- 60 mm bulletproof glass in cockpit front
- 8 mm steel plate underneath cockpit
- 25 mm steel armoured pilot's seat
- 10 + 16 mm steel armoured pilot's headrest
- Self-sealing fuel tanks behind cockpit and underneath engines in rear fuselage
The Q-5 protects the pilot from small arms fire, but at a battle rating of 10.0 and up, this level of protection does not amount to much. Enemy cannons and missiles will make short work of the Q-5 so avoiding incoming fire is paramount. The twin engines are likely to be damaged by attacks from the rear, but having two of them offers some extra survivability since it is capable of flying back to base on one engine. The elevators also have separate damage models and the aircraft remains somewhat controllable if one of them is blown off.
Modifications and economy
The Q-5A is armed with:
- 2 x 23 mm Type 23-2K cannons, wing-mounted (120 rpg = 240 total)
As on the Q-5 early, the Q-5A is equipped with 23 mm cannons identical to the NR-23 cannons found on earlier Soviet jets like the J-4/MiG-17. These are significantly less powerful than the contemporary J-6A's Type 30/NR-30 cannons due to their lower explosive content, rate of fire, kinetic damage, and muzzle velocity. They typically require a solid burst of hits to destroy a target instead of dismembering enemy fighters with a brief touch. On the bright side, they have more ammunition with about 8 seconds of firing time. Lead generously and try to get close to your opponent before unloading. Using them against ground targets should not be a priority since their penetration is no higher than a heavy machine gun and the ammo supply is not plentiful, all things considered.
The default belt has an even mix of FI-T and AP-I rounds and should be satisfactory from the start. Gun convergence is not a major issue since the cannons are mounted close to the centerline of the aircraft in the wing roots, and is up to personal preference.
The Q-5A can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 4 x 250 kg Type 250-2 bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 14 x Type 90-1 rockets
- 14 x Type 90-1 rockets + 4 x 250 kg Type 250-2 bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 8 x Type 130-2 rockets
- 8 x Type 130-2 rockets + 4 x 250 kg Type 250-2 bombs (1,000 kg total)
The Q-5A has access to all of the loadouts of the Q-5 early, the difference being that it can equip two rocket pods with four 130 mm Type 130-2 rockets each in lieu of the 90 mm Type 90-1 rockets. The 130 mm rockets have the same ballistics as the 90 mm rockets, traveling at 610 m/s, but instead of HEAT warheads they pack HE warheads with 16.56 kg of TNT equivalent each. They can penetrate 70 mm of armour through explosive power alone and come close to the infamous S-13DF rockets (19.15 kg TNT equivalent) used by the Mi-28N and Ka-52. They are actually more powerful than the S-21 rockets used by the J-2 or J-4. A direct hit to the roof or side armour of a MBT will cause catastrophic or even fatal damage. Lightly armoured targets should be annihilated if hit anywhere due to hull break and even near misses can be lethal. But as with the 90 mm rockets, the capacity is very limited, in this case to four salvos.
The Type 90-1 rockets are better than the anaemic S-5 rockets used by typical Soviet jets and can penetrate 280 mm of armour with 1.03 kg of TNT equivalent, but typically several hits are required to destroy an armoured target due to the lower post-penetration effect. The total of seven salvos is significantly greater than the Type 130-2 rockets but still unimpressive for its rank.
The four 250 kg bombs should be familiar to anyone who has used the Q-5 early, but the Q-5A does not have an internal bomb bay and all four are mounted on fuselage hardpoints instead. This causes more drag but the pilot no longer has to worry about manually opening the bomb bay. These are small for the Q-5's battle rating and four of them is not enough to destroy a single base. In mixed battles, they require more precision against ground targets than the typical 1000 lb/500 kg bombs used for CAS.
Usage in battles
The usage of the Q-5A does not differ drastically from the Q-5 early in Air Battles. The better flight performance is a plus, but the higher battle rating means that it does not face easier opposition than the J-6A and its limited armament becomes a greater liability. Those not in the mood for a challenge may find other Chinese fighters more competitive.
Although it was historically an attack aircraft, the Q-5 is not a first-rate ground attacker in Air RB since its ordnance is rather anaemic compared to other jets at its battle rating. It cannot destroy a base with its four 250 kg bombs, but this is still an option for supplementary research points when grinding: stay at low altitude, loop around to a side base, drop the bombs, then head towards the center of the map to join the furball. Going after AI ground vehicles with the bombs and rockets can also be successful provided that other jets do not arrive quickly to crash the party.
The Q-5A is less likely to fight subsonic aircraft than the Q-5 early, so it must utilize its acceleration and climb more than its raw speed. In fact, fighting at transonic or supersonic speeds should be avoided because of the control compression. Stay at lower altitudes and try to pounce on distracted opponents. At high altitudes, the Q-5A has a more significant speed deficit compared to other aircraft, is more vulnerable to missiles, and will suffer from compression if forced into long dives. The best way to reverse enemies is to pull them into a climbing spiral or other vertical manoeuvres; the Q-5 has enough of the MiG-19's climb and thrust-to-weight to energy fight in a similar manner, the declining airspeed relaxes the control compression, and a stalled-out target is easier to gun down. Note that while bulky aircraft like Phantoms can be outmanoeuvred and out-accelerated fairly easily, aircraft with delta wings like the Mirage IIIC, J35D, and MiG-21s have good instantaneous turn rates and may be able to outturn the Q-5A in the short term. These aircraft also tend to have deadly missiles with wide acquisition cones. Watch where their noses are pointing, be ready to drop flares, and avoid presenting an easy target while they still have significant airspeed. It should be obvious that actual MiG-19 models such as the German MiG-19S are better than the Q-5A in almost every regard when it comes to air-to-air combat. Be very careful about engaging them.
Take advantage of the flares and RWR. Flares are intended to spoof infrared guided missiles. For best results, deploy them in bursts while cutting the afterburner and making evasive manoeuvres, which will hopefully cause the missile to chase a flare instead. Only 18 flares can be carried in total, which is really not much compared to the F-4E's 90, so dropping flares should not be the primary strategy of missile evasion. Definitely use them against very dangerous missiles that cannot be evaded easily, as they will buy time for reversing the target and can save the Q-5A during energy-draining vertical combat. Missiles with limited manoeuvrability or track rates can be dodged with good manoeuvring. Do not waste them on radar-guided missiles, which can be identified either by a radar lock warning from the RWR or from being fired in the front aspect.
The RWR will not stop any missiles by itself, but knowing if there are pursuers or radar locks behind you reduces the chance of being surprised by a missile or cannon burst out of nowhere. Remember that not every enemy aircraft has a radar or will have it turned on and that infrared guided missiles do not require radar guidance at all. The RWR is not a replacement for situational awareness, it is still the pilot's duty to look for approaching enemies and missile launches whenever possible.
Like the Q-5 early, the Q-5A is a light ground attacker whose rockets are limited in capacity and whose bombs are limited in power. For those who are not confident with their aim, it's best to use up the rockets and bombs in a few passes, then switch to providing air cover. It can out-accelerate and outmanoeuvre most contemporary fighters and the Ground RB environment makes advantages in top speed or radar-guided missiles less significant. Keep in mind that Q-5A and its modification Q-5IA currently has no CCIP capabilities, therefore pilots need exceptional skill to drop bombs or unleashing rockets to finish enemies once and for all.
The Q-5A has a choice between 90 mm and 130 mm rockets. The former have almost twice the ammunition and the latter are significantly more lethal, so choosing one or the other largely depends on one's aim. The 130 mm rockets are generally better for attacking MBTs since the lesser damage of the 90 mm rockets tends to negate their capacity advantage. A successful hit with more than 16 kg of TNT equivalent will crack open tanks quite nicely, so treat them more similarly to the heavy S-24 rockets used by Soviet aircraft in terms of aim and pacing. Even without a ballistic computer, four salvos of heavy rockets should be enough to blow at least one target to smithereens.
The 250 kg bombs, which are dropped individually, do not have much explosive content and need to be delivered with decent accuracy in order to score kills. This can be a tall order for a supersonic jet aircraft like the Q-5, especially against moving targets, so consider dropping several (or even all of them) at once. Carpet bombing a capture point or lane can lead to decent results. A relatively short fuse can be used due to the bombs' limited blast radius.
The Q-5A's radar warning receiver can help detect SPAA vehicles, but be sure to visually inspect the battlefield as well. Some players turn off their radars for greater stealth and some SPAAs lack radars entirely. The majority of SAMs are manually guided by their operators and thus flares will not work against them; the main exceptions are the Japanese Type 93 and the Italian SIDAM 25 (Mistral). Do not head-on or stall out in full view of an SPAA, and even when the coast appears to be clear, avoid flying in straight lines.
Pros and cons
- High acceleration, great energy retention, and decent climb rate
- Faster than the Q-5 early
- Good ammunition stock
- Good sustained manoeuvrability, can out-turn F-4 Phantoms and keep up with MiG-21s
- First aircraft in the Chinese tech tree to have flares
- Has a radar warning receiver
- 130 mm rockets pack quite a punch against ground targets
- Gun-fighter only, still no missiles despite high rank placement
- Average roll rate
- Tail locks up at high speeds
- Easily beaten in manoeuvrability by aircraft such as the Mirage, Draken and MiG-19
- The 23 mm cannons sometimes fall short in damage, much less lethal than J-6A's 30 mm cannons
- Ordnance capacity is still below average for its rank
The Nanchang Q-5A 'Fantan' was the first variant of the Chinese ground attack aircraft, which has seen over 50 years of continuous service. Developed in the early 1950s as a replacement for ageing Soviet-made IL-10 attack aircraft, the plane was developed from the MiG-19 airframe. Though it entered service relatively late due to the effects of the Cultural Revolution, it still saw extensive service as the primary attack aircraft of the Chinese Air Force. As well, it was exported to several countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Though it has now been retired from active Chinese service, the aircraft remains in service with the Myanmar Air Force.
Design and development
In the early 1950s, China lacked and needed a new ground attack aircraft. While other nations were re-equipping with advanced attack aircraft such as the A-4 Skyhawk and F-100 Super Sabre, the Chinese Air Force still used the obsolete propeller-powered IL-10, a relic of the Second World War. As a result, the Chinese Air Force started studying concepts for a new supersonic jet-powered attack aircraft. As the state of Chinese aircraft technology was far behind from other nations, and as a result, existing designs were studied; these included the Soviet Su-7 and MiG-19, which was already in service as the Shenyang J-6. As a result, the final design was based on the MiG-19, and shared many of its characteristics.
The Q-5 shared the MiG-19's aft section and engines, but had a completely redesigned forward section making it 25% longer. As a result, the aircraft had a significantly reduced top speed, though it was still capable of flying supersonic. The nose was redesigned and featured the air intakes on the sides, behind the cockpit, while the cockpit canopy was adjusted as well. The armament was changed to two 23 mm cannons in place of the MiG-19's NR-30s.
The Q-5's construction was delayed due to the effects of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Thus, the first Q-5 prototype flew on June 4th, 1965.
The first Q-5As entered in the early 1970s in limited quantities, followed by mass-scale production. Over the course of a decade, almost 600 Q-5A airframes were built. As well, a small number of Q-5As were modified to carry a single nuclear bomb semi-recessed in the fuselage; one of the modified aircraft was indeed used in this manner in a nuclear bomb test in January of 1972. The Q-5As used in this role are easily identifiable because of the bright-white anti-flash paint scheme that protected the aircraft from nuclear flash.
The Q-5A saw little combat action due to its relatively short time in service before being superseded by later variants of the aircraft. However, modified Q-5As remained the backbone of China's tactical nuclear strike force for several years. Though it has since been superseded in the nuclear and conventional strike role by the JH-7 Flying Leopard, late variants of the Q-5 remain in service with the Myanmar Air Force.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- Peck, M. (2019)
- Eastern Order of Battle. (n.d.)
- Staff Writer. (2020)
- Peck, M. (2019, October 18). Meet the Nanchang Q-5: China's Nuclear Bomber. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/meet-nanchang-q-5-chinas-nuclear-bomber-89681
- Eastern Order of Battle. (n.d.). Nanchang Q-5 Fantan attack aircraft at the People's Liberation Army Air Force Part One. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from http://www.easternorbat.com/html/nanchang_q-5_fantan_01_eng.html
- Staff Writer. (2020, April 27). Nanchang Q-5 (Fantan) Ground Attack / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=568
|Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation 南昌飞机制造公司|
|Jet fighters||Q-5 early · Q-5A|
|China jet aircraft|
|Fighters||J-2 · J-4 · Shenyang F-5 · J-6A · J-7II · J-7E|
|Strike aircraft||Q-5 early · Q-5A|
|American||␗F-84G-21-RE · ␗F-86F-30 · ␗F-86F-40 · ␗F-100A · ␗F-104A · ␗F-104G · ␗F-5A|
|Soviet||␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)|