A British magazine said on Monday that new Chinese single- and twin-seat J-11 fighters are probably being produced for the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF).
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, some pictures posted this month on Chinese military websites showed J-11s outside the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation factory.
The J-11s are in a very light grey livery consistent with the PLANAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKK2 fighters, 24 (one regiment) of which were delivered in 2004, Jane’s said.
The single-seat fighters, a new variant of the J-11B and designated as J-11BH, are the modified version of Sukhoi’s Su-27SK. A version of the twin-seat J-11BS, which will reportedly be called J-11BSH in PLANAF service, can also be seen in these pictures, the magazine added.
Russia had expressed dissatisfaction on China’s “appropriation” of Sukhoi’s design, and Moscow also expressed doubt about whether China could copy the Su-27SK or go on to produce improved versions.
The J-11B has a slightly lighter airframe than the Russian original, and there is speculation that the J-11B is possibly made by greater use of composites, and new Chinese-designed radar.
Chinese-designed air-to-air missiles like the radar-guided Luoyang PL-12 are also equipped on the J-11B. There are also some indications that the J-11B may soon be equipped with a new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that is also likely to be used by the new Chengdu J-10B.
Recent images also suggest that the PLA Air Force J-11Bs may receive the Chinese-designed Shenyang WS-10A Taihang high-performance turbofan, which has been a major objective for China’s aerospace sector since the 1990s.
It is not clear if the new J-11s will take the place of China’s older Shenyang J-8B/D fighters. Compared with the J-8, J-11BH can provide PLANAF a new platform with significantly greater combat potential.
The PLANAF J-11s will probably have a potent anti-ship capability to supplement the army’s five regiments of Xian JH-7/A strike fighters.
BY: Global Times