Saab Supporter/PAC Mushshak

Country of Origin:Sweden
Type:Two seat basic trainer.
Powerplant:Mushshak - One 150kW (200hp) Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 flat four piston engine, driving a two blade propeller.
Super Mushshak - One 195kW (260hp) Lycoming IO-540-V4A5 six cylender engine.
Performance:Mushshak - Max speed 236km/h (127kt), cruising speed 108km/h (112kt). Max initial rate of climb 807ft/min. Service ceiling 13,450ft. Max range 622km. Endurance 5hr 10min.
Super Mushshak - Max speed 145kt, cruising speed 130kt. Max initial rate of climb 1700ft/min. Service ceiling 22,000ft. Max range 851km.
Weights:Mushshak - 898kg
Super Mushshak - 998kg.
Accommodations:Seating for two side by side, with option of a third rear facing seat in the back.
Armament:Six underwing hardpoints, inner two stressed for 150kg (330lb) each, outer four for 100kg (220lb), for rocket and gun pods and Bofor Bantam anti tank missiles.
Operators:Supporter - Denmark, Zambia. Mushshak - Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Syria.
History:The MFI-15 Safari and MFI-17 Supporter resulted from Saab's adaptation of the MFI-9 Junior for basic training for civil and military operators.

In 1968 Saab began work on its MFI-15, based on the MFI-9 but with some design changes. Foremost of the changes in the Saab built MFI-15 prototype was the 120kW (160shp) Lycoming IO-320 piston engine. Like the MFI-9 though the MFI-15 retained the unusual braced, mid mounted and slightly forward swept wing and rearward hinging canopy, offering good all around vision. The prototype made its first maiden flight on June 11 1969. Following testing te MFI-15 gained a more powerful IO-360, while the horizontal tail was relocated to clear it of damage of thrown up debris. First flight of this modified form was in February 1971.

Sold as MFI-15 Safari, most went to civil coustomers, however Sierra Leone and Norway took delivery of Safaris for military pilot training. To improve the Safari's military market appeal, Saab developed the MFI-17 Supporter, fitted with six underwing hardpoints for light and practice weaponary, giving it weapons training and light COIN capabilities. First flight was on July 6 1972. Important were Denmark and Zambia. Production ended in the late 1970s after about 250 Safaris and Supporters had been built, most for civil coustomers.

Pakistan meanwhile has taken delivery of 18 Saab built Supporters, while 92 have been assembled llocally by PAC from knocked down kits and a further 149 were built locally by PAC. It is named Mushshak (Proficient) in Pakistani service. In 1981, Pakistan acquired sole manufacturing rights of the Supporter. PAC has developed a further improvement Super Mushshak with a Lycoming IO-540 195kW (260hp) engine with a three blade propellor