SAAB MFI-17 Supporter/Safari
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex / PAC Mushshak
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Super Mushshak
Licence production of the Saab MFI-17 Supporter two/three-seat piston-engined trainer and liaison aircraft continued at Kamra for the Pakistan Air Force and Army in 1987 by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, as the Mushshak.
Two MFI-17Bs were shipped to the PAF Academy in September 1974 for evaluation by trainer pilots and the Pakistan Army signed a contract with Saab in June 1974 to acquire five MFI-17B Supporters along with supply kits. The contract was signed to supercede the obsolete Howard L-19 trainer aircraft. A licence agreement was also obtained to build an indigenous aircraft based on the MFI-17B.
Assembly of Swedish-made kits began in 1976, but complete aircraft are manufactured in Pakistan using imported raw materials, engines, propellers, and avionics equipment. Licence-production of this aircraft was started in Pakistan during 1976, initially from kits supplied by Saab, but there has been a gradual change to indigenous manufacture from raw materials. Designated Mushshak in Pakistan, more than 150 have been built.
Upon taking the required suggestions from the Academy, the PAC started the development of MFI-17 Mushshak in June 1975 at its facility in Kamra, Pakistan. Saab ceased the supporter aircraft parts supply in 1982. The maiden MFI-17 Mushshak production aircraft was introduced in December 1983. The aircraft has been accredited by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, and has obtained Type Acceptance certification from the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
The MFI-17 features two integral fuel tanks that carry 48gal of fuel. It also houses an electrical fuel pump for emergency missions. The aircraft is fitted with a Bendix fuel injection system, dual flight control systems, tricycle type landing gear, electrical trim, rudder pedals, ailerons and environmental control system.
It boasts a large luggage compartment on the rear side of the cockpit, which can be easily accessed through a door on the port side of the fuselage.
The glass cockpit of the Mushshak accommodates two crew members, a student pilot and an instructor. It is fitted with two adjustable seats integrated with lockable inertia reels, and there is an option for a third seat on the rear side. The round glass canopy offers clear visibility to the crew. An Enviro R-134 air conditioning system maintains constant temperature in the cockpit.
The cockpit is equipped with UHF radios, GPS, a voice-over recorder, automatic direction finder, rate of climb indicator, attitude heading reference system and an information friend or foe transponder.
The aircraft comprises six hardpoints. It is armed with two 7.62mm cannons, two 75mm unguided rocket pods, four 68mm unguided rocket pods and six anti-tank missiles.
The Mushshak is powered by an AEIO-360A1B6 horizontally opposed four-cylinder piston aircraft engine, which generates 149kW of output power. The engine is designed and manufactured by Textron Lycoming. It is a fuel injected engine driven by two bladed constant speed hartzell propeller made up of aluminium.
The time between overhauls of the engine is 2,000 hours.
Orders of the MFI-17 include: the Egyptian Air Force (54), the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (25), the Royal Air Force of Oman (Eight), the Pakistan Air Force (149), the Royal Saudi Air Force (20) and the Syrian Air Force (Six).
The Danish airforce chose in 1974 Saab Supporter as their new trainer.
The MFI-17 was designed to train pilots of the PAF Academy located at Risalpur. The aircraft is fitted with a blind flying screen allowing for instrument flying missions. It was designed to meet the US FAR23 certification standards in utility and aerobatics classes.
The Mushshak was designed to operate on rough airfields even in adverse weather conditions. It can execute a wide range of ground attack missions including forward air control, border patrol, reconnaissance, artillery fire observation, liaison, camouflage review and transportation.
Some Mushshaks, promoted as very light strike and weapons training aircraft, served with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Most of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Mushshak were upgraded to the more powerful Super Mushshak with a Lycoming 260 hp engine.
Saab-MFI 15/17 Safari-Supporter