Shenyang F-5

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This page is about the Chinese license-built jet fighter Shenyang F-5. For other versions, see MiG-17 (Family).
Shenyang F-5
GarageImage Shenyang F-5.jpg
Shenyang F-5
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The Shenyang F-5 is a gift rank V Chinese jet fighter with a battle rating of 9.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".

General info

The Shenyang F-5's instrument panel.

Flight performance

Max speed
at 2 000 m1 114 km/h
Turn time21 s
Max altitude15 500 m
Take-off weight0 t

The MiG-17 was the solution to upgrading the MiG-15 and naturally with it being a successful fighter which was mass-produced, variants eventually became available for other nations to purchase. China was one of the countries which sought to acquire the later versions of the MiG-17 which utilized the VK-1F style afterburning engines. With its sleek frame, swept-back wings and tailplane, the F-5 though a bit heavier than the typical MiG-17 is a powerhouse in the sky. Compared to many other aircraft, using the afterburner will allow the F-5 to outclimb many of its contemporaries including the F-86 variants. Many pilots who hope to catch an F-5 in a climb will be disappointed when they stall out only to see the F-5 dropping in on them from above for an easy shot.

Though not built for fast turns, at the top of a climbing arc, the F-5 can make a relatively quick reversal as they nose over and begin to descend, pulling back on the throttle, extending flaps and air brakes, the F-5 can set themselves up for a shot at a stalled out fighter or can manoeuvre to end up as the hunter in chase of its prey.

When diving in this fighter, it is crucial to watch the aircraft's speed, as it is possible to go slightly supersonic and at that point the control stiffening becomes excessive, making it extremely difficult to execute any finite movements.

As an air-to-air fighter, it is possible to include two PL-2 air-to-air missiles in conjunction with the guns, or you can eliminate the missiles and entirely rely on the 37 mm and 2 x 23 mm autocannons. The gun placement on the underside of the fuselage is ideal for not needing to worry about convergence; however, the pilot will need to compensate for the different drop rates of the 37 and 23 mm cannons to ensure both will impact the enemy fighter without one or the other over-shooting or under-shooting.

With this fighter sporting an afterburner, it is essential to either watch the fuel level or take more into battle. The afterburner will consume fuel much faster than the aircraft without it. One advantage of this fighter as it consumes its fuel is that the plane becomes lighter and can eke out a bit more speed.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 2,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 1,101 1,094 15500 21.8 23.0 39.1 36.1 475
Upgraded 1,126 1,114 21.2 21.5 61.9 50.0


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
Combat Take-off Landing + -
0 0 N/A 598 450 ~12 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 600 < 700 < 750 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Empty mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Shenyang Liming WP-5 1 3,868 kg 230 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 8m fuel 20m fuel 27m fuel
892 kg Afterburning centrifugal-flow turbojet 4,369 kg 4,889 kg 5,192 kg 5,485 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 8m fuel 20m fuel 27m fuel MTOW
Stationary 2,380 kgf 2,932 kgf 0.67 0.60 0.56 0.53
Optimal 2,380 kgf
(0 km/h)
2,932 kgf
(0 km/h)
0.67 0.60 0.56 0.53

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear0 km/h
  • 60 mm Bulletproof glass - Front canopy windshield
  • 16 mm Steel plate - Pilot's seat back
  • 25 mm Steel plate - Pilot's headrest
  • 10 mm Steel plate - in the nose of the aircraft before the cockpit

The F-5 has just enough armour protection to protect the pilot from machine-gun fire, smaller cannon fire and even some more substantial indirect cannon hits. Though not a guarantee of the pilot's survivability, the 10 mm steel plate in conjunction with the 60 mm bulletproof glass will aid in protecting the pilot in the event, he happens upon a bomber with defensive turrets or ends up in a head-on attack against another fighter. The 16 mm steel plates in the seat back and headrest will provide minimal protection as if ammunition fire from the rear penetrates that far, it is likely that the aircraft will already be experiencing catastrophic engine or structural failure.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 600 Sl icon.png
RB5 070 Sl icon.png
SB13 030 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 620 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 200 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 780 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 100 / 270 / 310 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 214 / 214 / 214 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods jet compressor.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods g suit.png
Mods jet engine.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods air to air missile.png


Offensive armament

The Shenyang F-5 is armed with:

  • 1 x 37 mm N-37D cannon, chin-mounted (40 rpg)
  • 2 x 23 mm NR-23 cannons, chin-mounted (80 rpg = 160 total)

Just like Shenyang F5's old brother MiG-17, the different caliber armaments on both sides of the plane will balance each other out. Despite the F-5 holding the largest caliber among the its fighter peers, the 37 mm N-37D cannon needs experience to ace. Though the two "smaller" 23 mm NR-23 cannons are deadly and easier to master than the 37 mm N-37D. Due to the low ammo rounds per gun, all cannons are not of the "spray and pray" type. These guns rarely overheat, though this is mostly since the magazine will be empty after only five seconds of shooting. It is necessary to fire in bursts only if confidence is high enough that the shots can hit the targets. For ammo selection, one should use "Air targets" belt on all cannons since it contains the most high-explosive and incendiary shells that have great effect against air targets. Launching ground strikes using "Armored targets" belts is not a good option due to the slightly inaccurate and unpredictable trajectory.

Suspended armament

Main articles: OFAB-250-270 (250 kg), PL-2

The Shenyang F-5 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 250 kg OFAB-250-270 bombs (500 kg total)
  • 2 x PL-2 missiles

Players also have access to PL-2 air-to-air missiles, which are the Chinese version of the Soviet K-13 AAM, which is similar to NATO AIM-9B Sidewinder AAM. The missiles are not great at this battle rating, but still usable. Players can choose not to carry them if they prefer using the gun to fight. To use these missiles, player have to spool up the tracker first. Spooling up the tracker will take around 5 seconds so it is better to plan ahead. Just like AIM-9B or any other first generation AAM, PL-2 does not have any off-axis angle to lock the target. To increase the chance of hitting, aim at the opponent's tail while they are flying in a straight line and fire at a distance less than 2 km. Any maneuver the opponent performs will prevent the missile from hitting its target.

Players also have access to two 250 kg bombs. Two 250 kg bombs are not enough to bomb a base so they are only useful in the ground attack role in ground realistic battles. Keep aware of the tactical situation at hand to bring the most optimal weapons loadout to the battlefield.

Usage in battles

After taking off, best practice is to fly in a straight line while engaging WEP. Once you achieve a high speed, pull back on the control stick and take the fighter into a climb. Due to the low ammunition count found on this aircraft, it is recommended to also load out the 2 x PL-2 air-to-air missiles.

The F-5 is essentially a MiG-17 with an afterburner and air-to-air missiles; those familiar with the MiG-17/J-4 should find the handling characteristics familiar, but the new features make the aircraft much more formidable. When fighting peer or lower-ranked opponents, its superior acceleration and firepower make combat easier. However, in full up-tiers, the speed will be very inadequate compared to the likes of the supersonic jets (some of which can fly more than twice as fast as the F-5). Work with teammates, take advantage of the aircraft's agility, and try to go after distracted enemies stuck in dogfights.

The PL-2 missiles are primitive and difficult to use, with poor tracking capabilities and agility. They will often be spoofed by the sun or heat reflections from the ground. In combat, missiles can be used to force an opponent to break off and burn energy or alternatively to finish off targets that do not have enough energy to dodge them.

The main gun armament is potentially very lethal. A few hits are sufficient for dismembering most enemy aircraft. That said, the relatively low muzzle velocity (which varies between the 37 mm and 23 mm guns), rate of fire, and ammo counts make getting these hits a challenge, especially when fighting faster aircraft. Trigger discipline is a must.

At the start of the match, it may be a good idea to load more fuel than the minimum since using the afterburner dramatically increases fuel consumption. One indication that your fuel is getting low is that the aircraft will be a bit more manoeuvrable and will be able to hit higher speeds as it becomes lighter.

Pros and cons


  • Hard-hitting, concentrated armament
  • Decent manoeuvrability
  • Access to destructive anti-aircraft missiles
  • Faster than most jets it will encounter thanks to powerful afterburner
  • Difficult to break wings in turns
  • Effective airbrakes
  • Premium bonuses
  • Can completely change the tide of a game in the hands of a skilled pilot
  • Has a gyro gunsight that helps leading shots to some extent in simulator


  • Flaps break at speeds above 530 km/h (330 mph)
  • Afterburner chews through fuel
  • Poor low-speed manoeuvrability (below 355 km/h (220 mph))
  • Guns have low velocity and different shell arcs which requires pilot practice to learn to use effectively
  • Very low ammo count for both types of guns
  • Will have to deal with Phantoms and other supersonic aircraft with better weapons and speed
  • PL-2 missiles have very narrow locking arc and low G-force tolerance when launching
  • Needs a skilled pilot to compete in up-tiers
  • Frontal-upward vision is entirely blocked out by the large cockpit frame, which disadvantages the pilot in simulator
  • The 250 kg high-drag bombs are very challenging to drop accurately due to their curved trajectory and slow speed


The Soviet MiG-17 was used quite extensively by the PLAAF in the early Cold War era. A production license for the more advanced MiG-17F model, which featured an afterburner, was obtained in the mid-1950s, and the result was the domestic Shenyang J-5, which made its first flight in 1956. In 1961, plans were obtained for the license production of the radar-equipped MiG-17PF model, but the ongoing Sino-Soviet split led to issues with the Chinese industry that delayed the first flight of the "J-5A" to 1964. At this point, the aircraft was rather obsolete, with the supersonic age being well underway, and production only continued for a few more years. Fewer J-5s were produced than the later J-6.

A unique trainer variant called the JJ-5 was produced by combining the cockpit of the MiG-15UTI with J-5 airframe elements and reduced armament; there was no trainer version of the MiG-17 since the Soviet Union saw no issue with using the MiG-15UTI for training new MiG-17 pilots.

The J-5 was exported under the designation of F-5 (not to be confused with the American F-5 Freedom Fighter) to numerous countries, including Albania, North Korea, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The majority of these operators have retired the F-5 at the time of writing, with the lone exception being North Korea. J-5s remaining in the PLAAF inventory have been converted to target drones.

The vehicle represented in War Thunder is painted in the livery of the North Korean Air Force and has apparently been modified to use PL-2 air-to-air missiles.



See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links

Shenyang Aircraft Corporation 中航工业沈阳飞机工业(集团)有限公司
Jet Fighters 
MiG-15  J-2*
MiG-17  J-4* · Shenyang F-5*
MiG-19  J-6A*
See Also  Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau

China jet aircraft
Fighters  J-2 · J-4 · Shenyang F-5 · J-6A · J-7II · J-7E
Strike aircraft  Q-5 early · Q-5A
Bombers  H-5
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)

China premium aircraft
Fighters  ␗A6M2 · H-81A-2 · Hawk III · ␗Ki-45 hei/tei · ␗Ki-84 ko
Jet fighters  Shenyang F-5