|Chinese naval J-11s spotted in the open
Date:2010-05-11 Source:Jane's By:Ted Parsons Viewed:
May 4 images of the tarmac outside the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation factory showed that navy-coloured J-11s were being produced.5月4日沈阳市飞机公司工厂外面飞机跑道的图片显示海军凃装的J-11正在生产中。
Ted Parsons JDW Correspondent - Washington, DC
In early May Chinese military websites featured images outside the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation factory indicating that new single- and twin-seat J-11 fighters are probably being produced for the People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF).
The images showed J-11s in a very light grey livery consistent with the PLANAF's Sukhoi Su-30MKK2 fighters, 24 (one regiment) of which were delivered in 2004. The single-seat fighters reportedly have the designation J-11BH, a new variant of the J-11B, which in turn is Shenyang's significantly modified version of Sukhoi's Su-27SK that Shenyang began co-producing after a 1998 agreement. These will be accompanied by a version of the twin-seat J-11BS, identifiable in the recent images by its taller twin vertical stabilisers. In PLANAF service this aircraft will reportedly be designated the J-11BSH.
China's appropriation of Sukhoi's design - without contract or compensation - has resulted in considerable unease among Russian officials, who have also repeatedly expressed their scepticism as to whether China could copy the Su-27SK or go on to produce improved versions, such as a carrier-capable variant.
The J-11B reportedly features a slightly lighter airframe than the Russian original, made possible by greater use of composites, and a new Chinese-designed radar. It carries Chinese-designed air-to-air missiles such as the radar-guided Luoyang PL-12. Some sources indicate that J-11Bs 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. Some recent images indicate that PLA Air Force J-11Bs may finally be receiving the Chinese-designed Shenyang WS-10A Taihang high-performance turbofan, the development and production of which has been a major objective for China's aerospace sector since the early 1990s.
J-11B根传闻歼-11B的机体比俄罗斯原先的设计要略轻一些，可能更多的采用了复合材料，以及中国设计的新型雷达系统。它携带中国设计的空空导弹，像是雷达制导的洛阳 PL-12。一些信息来源认为J-11B可能很快装备新的主动电子扫描阵列（AESA）雷达并且也有可能被新的成都 J-10B采用。一些最近的图片显示PLA空军J-11B可能最后正在接收中国设计的沈阳 WS-10A高性能涡扇发动机，研发和生产是中国航空部门自从上世纪90年代早期就开始的一个种重要目标。
It is not clear if the new J-11s will supplement or replace China's older Shenyang J-8B/D fighters, which reportedly comprise about two regiments of the PLANAF. In the J-11BH the PLANAF is acquiring a new platform with significantly greater combat potential than the J-8, which it surpasses in multirole capability and raw manoeuvring power.
The PLANAF J-11s will probably have a potent anti-ship capability to supplement the services' five regiments of Xian JH-7/A strike fighters. Greater use of the J-11BH as a ground-based fighter will also ensure a constant pool of candidates for the expected carrier-capable version of the J-11B, which may incorporate features of the Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based fighter.
The supposed emergence of naval J-11s is noteworthy in light of China's recent naval exercises, which featured an unprecedented level of sophistication in areas near Japanese territory. In April 2010 about 10 PLAN surface ships and submarines from the East Sea and North Sea Fleets, occasionally supported by fighter and airborne early warning aircraft, sailed near Okinawa, leading to an incident in which PLANAF Kamov Ka-32 helicopters approached to within 90 m of a Japanese destroyer. PLANAF J-11B fighters might prove much more of a challenge for Japan's Mitsubishi-Boeing F-15 and Mitsubishi F-2 fighters than their predecessors.
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