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Pakistan nears FC-1 avionics decision

COMPETING WESTERN manufacturers expect Pakistan to select radar, an avionics suite and a systems integrator before the end of the year for its planned FC-1 (MiG-21) fighter now being developed by Chengdu Aircraft.

The FC-1 is a successor to the now-defunct Super 7 project, and it is intended primarily as a replacement for the earlier Chengdu F-7 lightweight series. Pakistan has a requirement for up to 150 fighters, with the first aircraft expected to go into production by 1999 (Flight International, 21-27 June).

Pakistan is looking to suppliers in the West for a complete range of avionics to install in the FC-1, including multi-mode pulse- Doppler radar, stores-management system, inertial-navigation system and radar altimeter, head-up display and multi-function displays.

GEC-Marconi and Sagem are competing for an overall avionics-integration contract. Sagem has proposed an avionics system, similar to the one ordered for Pakistan's upgraded Dassault Mirage III fleet.

FIAR's Grifo radar is understood to be the favourite for the FC-1. Pakistan has already selected the Grifo M and Grifo 7 versions respectively for its Mirage III and F-7 upgrades. Also competing for the order are GEC-Marconi, offering its Blue Hawk, and Thomson-CSF, offering new radar-data-converter product.

Russia's Phazotron has proposed fitting the FC-1 with its multi-mode Super Komar radar, based on the Kopyo radar offered on the upgraded Mikoyan MiG-21-93. The Super Komar equipment incorporates a new digital signal and data processor.