The Nanchang Q-5 (NATO reporting name 'Fantan'), also known as the A-5 in its export versions, is a Chinese-built jet ground attack aircraft based on the Soviet MiG-19. Its main role is close air support.
The first prototype was completed in 1960, but the Chinese political situation resulted in the project being cancelled in 1961. A small team kept it alive until it was re-opened in 1963, when production was shifted to Nanchang. The first flight finally occurred on 4 June 1965. Series production began in 1969, with squadron delivery starting in 1970.
About 1,000 aircraft were produced, 600 of them being the updated Q-5A. A small number, perhaps a few dozen, Q-5As were modified to carry nuclear weapons; these are believed to retain their internal weapons bay. A long-range Q-5I, introduced in 1983, added a fuel tank instead of the internal weapons bay, compensating for that with the provision of two additional underwing pylons. Some of these aircraft serve with the PLA Navy, and have apparently been equipped with radar to guide anti-ship missiles. They can also drop torpedoes. Subsequent minor upgrades include the Q-5IA, with a new gun/bomb sighting system and avionics, and the Q-5II, with radar warning receiver (RWR).
In more recent years, the PLAAF has begun to field newer models of the Q-5, that take in some of the technology that was learned about during the cancelled Q-5M and Q-5K projects. The Q-5 introduces a nose-mounted laser rangefinder, and a laser designated is also likely to be fitted due to the fact that the aircraft is said to be able to deliver laser-guided bombs. It is also believed to be capable of delivering nuclear munitions.
The Q5 Fantan has had a LOT of variants (in excess of 20) since it was first introduced in the late 1960's, the following is no means a definitive list of weapons able to be carried by the Q5:
Chinese-built LJ-500 laser-guided bomb
French Durandal anti-runway weapon
PL-2, PL-5, or PL-7 air-to-air missiles
Rockets: 57 mm, 90 mm, and 130 mm Chinese-built rocket pods
Chinese-built 50 kg, 150 kg, 250 kg, or 500 kg bombs
British-built BL.755 cluster bomb
2× Norinco Type 23-2K 23 mm (0.906 in) cannon, 100 rounds per gun
The BF2 version, the Q5 features only in Midnight Sun, with only 1 available for use. Unlike the jets featured in BF2 vanilla and Euro Force, the Q5 has no air to air missiles but instead has a payload of 4 dumb bombs.
In the lead-up to Armoured Fury's release, many BF2 players got very excited at the prospect of the A10 featuring in the game, with its cannons ability to annihilate enemy armour in few hits as well as a possible second seat for LGM capabilities. This would obviously have applied to the Q5 as well to keep the game on a level playing field.
The plane itself is relatively slow and pretty weak (it has no afterburner). For a “bomber jet”, the F15/Su30/Su34 are far better bomber jets for their LGM's and payload of smart bombs which easily eradicate armour. And thats not to mention the cannon which is pretty weak against ground targets, unless you get a long strafing run - requiring a very slow run in making you an easy target for any AA or enemy jets.
Not only that, but in real life they feature air-to-air missiles for defense - the BF2 version doesn't.
Although it obviously has to be toned down for fair gameplay, a lot of players and fans disregard the Q5 (or the US/MEC equilivants), finding it weak, ineffective and far from what was expected in comparison to the vanilla jets.
However, because it has no air-to-air missiles, this makes air combat soley based on cannon fire - which many players regard as more skillful. Despite this, most players prefer to avoid air-to-air and concentrate on bombing - dropping 4 dumb bombs on the enemy targets each time.
Gun: 23mm Norinco Type 23-2K Cannon
Bombs: 4 Dumb Bombs
Evasive action: Flares
Vehicle Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q-5_Fantan
Vehicle Screencaps: http://www.ea.com/official/battlefield/battlefield2/us/editorial.jsp?src=vehicles