Shenyang J-16

The Shenyang J-16 is a multirole fighter capable of both ‘beyond-visual-range’ air-to-air and precision strike roles. The aircraft is the latest addition to the ‘Sino-Flanker’ family, which has been developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) from the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ airframe, but incorporated with Chinese indigenous avionics and weapon systems.

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Shenyang J-15

The J-15 is a carrier-based multirole fighter developed for the PLA Navy, largely based on the J-11 but with features of the Sukhoi Su-33 (‘Flanker-D’). The aircraft first flew in August 2009 and operations from China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning (CV-16) began in 2012. The Air Wing of the Liaoning operates up to 24 J-15 fighters for both air interception and ground/surface strike roles.

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Sukhoi Su-30MKK

The PLA acquired 100 examples of the Sukhoi Su-30MKK ‘Flanker-G’’ multirole fighter between 2001 and 2004. The Su-30MKK is PLA’s first ‘true’ multirole fighter with both ‘beyond-visual-range’ air-to-air and precision strike capabilities. Additionally, the aircraft is also fitted with sophisticated ECM and C4ISR suites for target acquisitions and weapon guidance. SAC has introduced a two-seat multirole fighter designated J-16, with similar arrangement and configuration.

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Shenyang J-11B

The J-11B is the first of the Shenyang ‘Sino-Sukhoi’ family to have been developed independently without Russian assistance. The aircraft resembles the Su-27SK ‘Flanker-B’ in appearance and is also powered by two Russian AL-31F engines initially, but is equipped with Chinese avionics and weapons. A two-seat fighter trainer variant designated J-11BS has also been introduced, which appears to be a direct copy of the Su-27UBK ‘Flanker-C’.

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Sukhoi Su-27 / Shenyang J-11

The Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: ‘Flanker’) fighter was developed during the Cold War-era to counter the Western 4th-generation fighters. China acquired a total of 76 examples of the aircraft between 1992 and 1999. Another 100 examples were built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) under license as the J-11. The Su-27 was the first PLAAF fighter aircraft capable of competing with modern Western fighters. The aircraft and its derivatives remain the backbone of the Chinese air power today.

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Chengdu J-10

The Chengdu J-10 is a 4th-generation multirole, single-engine, all-weather fighter aircraft that has been operational with the PLA since 2003, after 17 years of development. The aircraft was originally intended to be a high-performance air-superiority fighter, but the development later shifted towards a multirole fighter with both air-to-air and ground attack mission capabilities. The fighter is generally regarded as comparable in performance to the Lockheed Martin F-16C/D.

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Chengdu FC-1 / PAC JF-17 Thunder

The FC-1 Xiaolong (Fierce Dragon) is the result of a joint Sino-Pakistani development programme that commenced in 1999. Russia supplied its Klimov RD-93 turbofan jet engine for the aircraft. The Pakistani Air Force has ordered 150 examples of the aircraft, which entered service in 2007. The aircraft has been actively marketed to other air forces. A two-seat fighter-trainer variant made first flight in April 2017.

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Shenyang J-8II

The J-8II (NATO reporting name: ‘Finback-B’) is a single-seat, twin-engine interceptor fighter introduced by Shenyang Aircraft Industry Corporation (SAC) in the early 1980s. Over the next two decades, the aircraft’s capabilities were steadily improved through incorporating of new avionics and weapon systems. With significant numbers of the 4th-generation fighters now in service with the PLA, the J-8II is nearing the end of its service life.

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