JF-17 Thunder’s Weapon load

JF-17 Thunder – All round view                                         Chapter 8 : JF-17 Thunder’s Weapon Load

JF-17 configuration of weapon load:


JF-17 Weapon load

Weapons Rails/Hard Points:

JF-17 Thunder has seven hard points.

JF-17 Thunder has seven hard points for carrying external weapons/fuel tanks. One is on each wing tip, two under each wing and one under belly.

Pylons attachments areas marked on the upper side on wings.

Pylons attachments areas marked on the upper side on wings.


JF-17’s pylon 1,2 and 6,7 are mainly used for carrying air-air missiles. JF-17 can carry two AIM-9L Sidewinders or PL-5E II Short Range Air to Air Missiles (SRAAM) on wingtip pylons (pylon 1/2) and four SD-10A Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAM) on multi ejectors racks attached on pylon 6/7. Pylon 6/7 can also carry mission pods including WMD-7 Optical targeting pod and KG-300 Electronic Warfare pod.


JF-17’s pylon 3 and 5 with various pins for locking, security and jettissioning attached weapons/fuel stations. It can carry 1000+ Kg of weapons which include Mk-82/84 dumb bombs, LT-2/GBU-10/12 Laser Guided bombs (LGB), various classes of LS-6 gluide guided bombs, C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile (ASM) and  H-2/4 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW), Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) in the future.

jf-17_thunder_pylon_5-6_fuel_tank_marking jf-17_thunder_izmir_air_show_2011_wing

JF-17’s pylon 3 and 5 is mainly used for carrying 1100 L fuel tanks. In the left photo; High-visibility markings in both English and Chinese language for ground crew.


JF-17’s pylon 4 is mainly used for carrying 800 L fuel tank. It can also be used to carry up to 2000lbs (1000kg+) of munitions.

External fuel stations


JF-17 can carry three external fuel tanks (2x 1100 L under wing and 1X 800 L centerline fuel tank) both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground role.

The maximum range (3,000km) in a High-High-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 2 x SD-10A MRAAM + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

The maximum range (1,200km) in a Medium-Low-Low-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 4 x 250kg bomb + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

Weapon load case studies



Characteristics / specification chart of JF-17 on the static display at Izmir during the Centenary Celebrations of Turkish Air Show 2011.

JF-17 has a maximum take-off weight 27,336 lb (12,400kg), maximum external stores weight of 8820lbs (4,000kg)

Weapon Length Diameter Weight
WMD-7 pod 2.700 m 0.390 m 280 kg
C-802A 6.392 m 36 cm 715 kg
Ra’ad ALCM 4.85 m 1100 kg
H-2/4 SOW 3650 mm 38 cm H-4: 1200 kgH-2: 980 kg (2,160 lb)
MK-82 bomb 87.4 inches (2,220 mm) 10.75 inches (273 mm) 227 kg (500 lb)
MK-84 bomb 129 in (3280 mm) 18 in (458 mm) 925 kg (2039 lb)
LT-2 3580mm 380mm 570kg
LT-3 3.58m 0.38 m 564 kg
LS-6 (500 kg) 300mm 377mm 540kg
PL-5E SRAAM 2.893m 0.127m 83kg
SD-10A MRAAM 3,850mm 203mm 180kg
AIM-9L Sidewinder 2850 mm 127mm 85.3kg
MAR-1 ARM 4.03 metres (13.2 ft) 0.23 metres (0.75 ft) 274 kilograms (600 lb)


According to Chief Designer of JF-17 at Dubai Air Show 2011, 3 pylons of JF-17 can carry a total of 4,000+ kg of weapon load.

Considering a JF-17 equipped with:


4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg)

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

1×800 Litre centerline fuel tank (Total Weight 648 kg) + 40kg(tank weight)  = 690kg

2×1100 Litre droptanks on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 1782 kg) 1782+ 120kg(tanks weight) =1900kg

Total weight= 900+170+690+1900 = 3660kg


4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg) [100kg for rack weight]

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

1×800 Litre centerline fuel tank (Total Weight 648 kg) + 40kg (tank weight)  = 690kg

2x 1100kg Ra’ad ALCM on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 2200 kg)


2x 1200kg H-4 SOW on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 2400 kg)


2x980kg H-2 SOW on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 1960 kg)

Total weight= 900+170+690+2200 = 3960kg (Ra’ad)

Total weight= 900+170+690+2400 = 4160kg (H-4)

Total weight= 900+170+690+1960 =3720 (H-2)


4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg)

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

2x 925 kg Mk-84 Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) on inner wing pylons (Total weight 2000 kg) [1850kg +150kg for LGB kit]

1x 280 kg WMD-7 Targeting pod on centerline station = 280kg

Total weight= 900+170+2000 = 3070 kg



SD-10A Medium Range Air to Air Missiles on multi-ejector racks and LS-6, 500kg glide bomb. LS-6 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 15m.


C-802A anti-shipping missile has a range of 180km. Its flight trials with JF-17 Thunder were conducted in November 2011.


WMD-7 is an Electro-Optic targeting with infrared, TV and laser sensor. It can search, track and identify targets during both day and night.  In IR detection mode it can detect targets at 20km range, where as it can successfully identity them from 15km. The TV mode gives 22km target detection and target 17km identification features.


KG-300 Airborne Self-Protection Jamming pod is a stand-alone system carried on under wing or center line station. KG-300 provides multi-target electronic jamming, multi-signal parameter measurement, deception and other counter enemy radar features to the aircraft.

jf-17_thunder_mark-84_high_mark2010 jf-17_thunder_mark-82_high_mark2010

JF-17s equipped with 2000lbs Mk-84 and 500lbs Mk-82 bombs during Exercise High Mark 2010.

jf-17_thunder_mk-82 bomb_1000l_fuel_tanks_pl-5e_sraam

JF-17 Protoype-4 during weapon load testing in early 2009. The aircraft is equipped with 4x Mk-82 bombs, 3x 1000L fuel tanks and 2xPL-5E II SRAAM.


JF-17 Protoype-6, dedicated for Chinese weapon integration and avionics testing equipped with SD-10 MRAAM. SD-10’s ‘live weapon’ firing trials were conducted on same aircraft in 2011.

MAR-1 air-to-ground Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM)

MAR-1 is an air-to-ground Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) developed by Brazil’s Mectron Corp and the Aerospace Technology and Science Department of Brazilian Air Force. MAR-1 introduced in 2008 is a designed to perform in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) role. It has various modes for high and low altitude radar. MAR-1 is believed to be potent weapon and enemy Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) radar. Its range is cited as 60 to 100 km with 90 kilograms (200 lb) warhead. PAF bought $108 million worth 100 MAR-1 missiles for JF-17 and Mirage-III/V aircraft in 2008. The missile was made operational with JF-17 in late 2011.

JF-17 Thunder Electro Optic pod

China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) JF-17 Prototype-6 seen in April ’2012 in Chendu flight center with electro-optical navigation pod.


Kentron  (South Africa) built Raptor-I/H-2 Stand Off Weapon (SOW), is a lethal TV-guided glide bomb produced under license by Air Weapons Comlpex (AWC), Pakistan.  H-2 can strike a target upto 60 km (37.5 miles). H-2 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 3m, hardened nose and timed fuse giving it the capability to penetrate Hardened Air Shelters (HAS) before explosion. Raptor-II/H-4 SOW is improved version of its predecessor with rocket motor and improved strike range (120km).


A JF-17 model with its armory. The inner pylons are carrying 2x 2000lbs GBU-10 LGBs.


Seen above; LT-2, a 570kg LGB. LT-2 bomb comes in both 500kg and 1000kg versions.


LT-2 and LT-3, the latter is 564kg precision guided bomb with a range of 24km. LT-3 is similar to US GBU-54/55/56(V)/B Laser JDAM (LJDAM) weapons.

Illustrations and Art-Work

LS-6 Precision Guided Glide Bomb

LS-6 Precision Guided Glide Bomb

C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile

JF-17 Thunder C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile

MAR-1 Anti Radiation Missile

JF-17 Thunder MAR-1 Anti Radiation Missile

Hafr Runway Penetration Bomb


H-2/4 Stand-Off Weapon 


Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile


GBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb and WMD-7 Electro Optic Targeting pod




Centerline External Fuel Tank –4 90 liters   (130 US Gal) {395 kg, or 870 lb when full}

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_fuel says 0.8075 kg/L
This source http://www.experimentalaircraft.info/homebuilt-aircraft/aviation-fuel-1.php says 0.81 kg/L or 6.76 lb/US gallon, or API density 44.3°.

JF-17 Thunder’s Threat warning system, tail housing & drogue chute

JF-17 Thunder – All round view                                         Chapter 6 : JF-17 Thunder’s Threat warning system, tail housing & drogue chute

Chaff and flare dispensers:

The chaffs are used against radar-guided threats, i.e. Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) or interceptor aircraft whereas the flares are for infrared threat and heat seeking missiles such as enemy aircraft or Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). In JF-17, the Chaff/flare dispensers are located under the ventral fins. Around 100 chaffs/flares can be carried at one time. The chaff/flare load out depends upon mission planning (mainly mission type/formation/load out etc). Using 5-10 chaffs/flares in one bundle will increase their usage to up to 10 times.

Chaff/flare dispensers are visible just after the air brakes and before the engine exhaust. Inside the cockpit the threat management system is located in the left auxiliary panel which directly manages its usage.

The JF-17s delivered to PAF till 2008 had no chaff/flare dispensers installed in them. Seen in above photos a specially marked JF-17 (Sr.# 07-101) flying during 23rd March parade 2007 with no chaffs/flares installed and an operational No.16 Sqn JF-17 at Dubai Air show 2011 with visible signs of chaffs/flares box installation.

Tail housing of JF-17 Thunder:

The top of the tail housing contains Missile air warning sensors (MAWS), a navigational light, Ultra High Frequency (UHF) communication antenna and two electrostatic energy dispensers. MAWS are a part of self-defense electronic countermeasure system of the aircraft and work in collaboration with other sensors present in the frontal section of nose. The navigational light blinks repeatedly during landing and takeoffs.

Two electrostatic energy dispensers are visible on to top and rear bottom position of tail housing. They are used to disperse unwanted electricity to the air, which can cause problem in communication and navigation. A total of four similar electricity dischargers are also present on flaperons and horizontal stabilizers. These electricity dischargers deflect any lightning strike, making aircraft invulnerable to such extreme weather situations.

Present under the squadron emblem is the flight control & communication antenna, used to record flight control information from rudder, horizontal stabilizers and VHF/UHF communication.

Drogue chute section:

The rear tail section contains a drogue chute section, Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and tail navigational light. Inset photo; the outward curved portion with a circular center houses the RWR system. The drogue chute section contains a breaking parachute used to decrease aircraft airspeed during landing. A landing without use of drogue chute is also possible, but it will require minimum amount of thrust, low airspeed, timely braking and equally good handling techniques.

The bottom portion of the drogue chute section contains a door lock, which is used to add/remove drogue chute in it. Necessary air crew related warning messages are also written on it.

A JF-17 moments after deploying drogue chute. Note the opened drogue chute section with hollow space.

Another close up of the empty drogue chute section with opened drogue chute door. The drogue chute is automatically disconnected from the aircraft and drops on the runway. An “all time standby” drogue chute collector team picks it up soon before any other aircraft lands at the runway.