Chengdu Aircraft Industry, China's Major Military Aircraft Developer After Shenyang

Chengdu Aircraft Industry, China's Major Military Aircraft Developer After Shenyang
Chengdu Aircraft Industry, China's Major Military Aircraft Developer After Shenyang

International Military - Alongside the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) is a Chinese aerospace conglomerate that designs and manufactures fighter aircraft and attack drones.

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group was founded in 1958 as Chengdu State Aircraft Factory No.132 Aircraft Plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province to supply aircraft to the Chinese military. Its history begins in April 1956, when an agreement was signed by China with the Soviet Union that included assistance to China's aviation industry.

This includes the construction project of the No.132 fighter aircraft manufacturing plant. Construction began on October 18, 1958 and was completed in October 1964. A total of 180 million yuan was invested, the factory covers an area of 507.4 hectares and employs 10,485 employees.

Starting with the J-5 (MiG-17) fighter jet, the first production from the Chengdu factory successfully made its maiden flight in November 1964. It was followed by the production of the J-7 (MiG-21) fighter jet, which successfully made its first flight in March 1970.

In 1979 factory No.132 was introduced to the outside world as the Chengdu Aircraft Company and started exporting military products and gradually providing products for civilian use.,

Entering the 1990s, Chengdu began to develop its own aircraft design, no longer using the Soviet Union's aircraft base (now continued by Russia).

The fighter jet is the J-10, classified as the fourth generation with multi-role capabilities. It successfully made its maiden flight in 1998. It was followed in 2002 by the birth of the FC-1 (Super 7) fighter jet. Then the aircraft was named JF-17 which was jointly developed and produced with PAC, Pakistan.

The pinnacle of Chengdu's work was when it was entrusted with developing a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet for the Chinese military that outperformed its rival SAIC designs. The jet, codenamed J-20, successfully made its maiden flight on January 11, 2011; and began serving for the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) on 9 March 2017.

The J-20 is the third operational stealth jet in the world after the US F-22 and F-35. Not only manned aircraft, Chengdu also produces the Wing Loong family attack reconnaissance aircraft (GJ-1/2/3) and the jet-engined version of the WZ-10.

Its newest product is the CS-5000T, a jet-powered stealth combat drone to compete with the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B from Russia, which was introduced at the recently passed Airshow China 2022.

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