Military Wiki
Shenyang J-5
Role Fighter aircraft
National origin People's Republic of China
Manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corporation[1]
First flight 19 July 1956[1]
Introduction 1956
Retired 1992 (China)
Status Trainers in service
Primary users People's Liberation Army Air Force
North Korean Air Force
Pakistan Air Force (historical)
Vietnam People's Air Force (historical)
Number built 1,820+[1]
Developed from Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

The Shenyang J-5 (Chinese: 歼击机-5; pinyin: Jianjiji-5; literally: "Fighter-5"),[1] originally designated Dongfeng-101 - (East Wind-101),[1] and also Type 56[1] before being designated J-5 in 1964,[1] is a Chinese-built single-seat jet interceptor and fighter aircraft derived from the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17.[1] The J-5 was exported as the F-5. The aircraft's NATO reporting name is "Fresco".[2]

The MiG-17 was license-built in China, Poland and East Germany into the 1960s, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) obtained a number of Soviet-built MiG-17 Fresco-A day fighters, designated J-5 in the early 1950s. To introduce modern production methods to Chinese industry the PLAAF obtained plans for the MiG-17F Fresco-C day fighter in 1955, along with two completed pattern aircraft, 15 knockdown kits, and parts for ten aircraft. The first Chinese-built MiG-17F, (serialed Zhong 0101),[1] produced by the Shenyang factory, performed its initial flight on 19 July 1956 with test pilot Wu Keming at the controls.[1]

Plans were obtained in 1961 for the MiG-17PF interceptor and production began, as the J-5A (F-5A),[1] shortly afterwards. At this time the Sino-Soviet split occurred, causing much disruption to industrial and technical projects, so the first J-5A did not fly until 1964, when the type was already obsolete. A total of 767 J-5s and J-5As had been built when production ended in 1969.[1]

Somewhat more practically, the Chinese built a two-seat trainer version of the MiG-17, designated the Chengdu JJ-5 (Jianjiji Jiaolianji - Fighter Trainer - FT-5),[1] from 1968, by combining the two-seat cockpit of the MiG-15UTI, the VK-1A engine of the J-5, and the fuselage of the J-5A. All internal armament was deleted and a single Nudelman-Richter NR-23 23 mm cannon was carried in a ventral pack. Production of the JJ-5 reached 1,061 when production ceased in 1986, with the type exported to a number of countries.[1]

Operational history

China airforce J5.jpg

Albanian Air Force FT-5

The J-5 and JJ-5 saw widespread use by the PLAAF until supplanted by more capable aircraft such as the Chengdu J-7. A small number of JJ-5s remain with the PLAAF. China and Zimbabwe currently fly JJ-5 trainers. The single seat J-5 and the Soviet MiG-17 still flies today in the air forces of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Somaliland, Sudan, and Tanzania.


  • Albanian Air Force — Shenyang J-5 jets were among the first Chinese military aid to Albania, but the Albanian Air Force's deployment against the Yugoslav air incursion was relatively unsuccessful due to its subsonic speed, and the aircraft were soon reassigned once Shenyang J-6s became available. Remaining J-5s are retired and in storage with the Albanian military.
 People's Republic of China
 North Korea
  • North Korean Air Force - As of February 2012, 100× F-5 with another 135× FT-5 trainers remain in service. However, reports of dire levels of serviceability suggest an airworthiness rate of less than 50%.[3]
  • Pakistan Air Force — Retired 5 January 2012. PAF's No. 1 Fighter Conversion Unit (FCU) operated 25+ FT-5 trainers from 1975 to 2012, replaced in service by Pakistani-built K-8P Karakorum.[4][5]
 Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lankan Air Force — J-5s were used as jet familiarisation trainers for Sri Lankan Air Force pilots.
  • Sudanese Air Force — The Sudanese Air Force J-5s have been used for ground attack missions against rebels with limited air defences. Both MiG-17s and J-5s fly with the Sudanese Air Force.
United States
  • United States Air Force — In the 1980s, the United States purchased a number of J-5 aircraft, along with J-2 aircraft from China via the Combat Core Certification Professionals Company. These aircraft were employed in a "mobile threat test" program at Kirtland Air Force Base, operated by 4477th "Red Hats" Test and Evaluation Squadron of the United States Air Force, and are now believed to be in storage.
  • Vietnamese Air Force — The Vietnamese Air Force used J-5s alongside the Soviet supplied MiG-17s for interception missions until the 1990s when they were retired, along with the remaining MiG-19s, being replaced with newer MiG-21s and Su-27s.
  • Air Force of Zimbabwe — The J-5s in the Zimbabwe Air Force were first piloted by Pakistani pilots. JJ-5s are still in service as intermediate trainers.


  • Type 56 - pre-service designation for the J-5.[1]
  • Dongfeng-101 - original service name for the J-5.[1]
  • Shenyang J-5 - (Jianjiji-5 - fighter) Chinese production aircraft re-designated in 1964. 767 built, all single seat variants.[1]
  • Shenyang J-5A - licence production of the Radar-equipped Mig-17PF. The total production figure for this variant was over 300. J-5As were still in service with PLAAF when J-6A & J-6B were phased out.[1]
  • Chengdu JJ-5 - (Jianjiji Jiaolianji - fighter trainer) A twin-seat trainer version of the J-5 designed and developed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. Combined the J-5 airframe, J-5A airbrakes and the tandem twin-seat cockpit section of the JJ-2 (MiG-15UTI).[1] Export versions designated FT-5.
  • Shenyang J-5 torpedo bomber - A single aircraft modified to carry a single torpedo under the fuselage centreline. Central cannon was removed, as was some fuel storage capacity. Trials showed performance degradation was too great and further work was abandoned.[1]

Specifications (J-5)

{{aerospecs |ref=Gordon,Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Chinese Aircraft. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6 |met or eng?=met |crew=(JJ/5 - 2) 1 |capacity= |length m=(JJ-5 - 11.5 m/37 ft 9 in)(J-5A - 11.36 m/37 ft 4 in) 11.09 |length ft=36 |length in=5 |span m=9.628 |span ft=31 |span in=7 |swept m= |swept ft= |swept in= |width m= |width ft= |width in= |height m=3.8 |height ft=12 |height in=5½ |wing area sqm=22.6 |wing area sqft=790 |swept area sqm= |swept area sqft=

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Gordon,Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Chinese Aircraft. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6
  2. "Designations of Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft and Missiles". 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  3. "The AMR Regional Air Force Directory 2012". Asian Military Review. February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  4. "PAF grounds ageing trainer aircraft". January 6, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  5. "Pakistan Air Force retires last FT-5". Key Publishing. April 2012. p. 32. ISSN 0955-7091.