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J-11 (Jianjiji-11) - Variants

It can be said that the J-11 series is the most reliant air combat aircraft of the Chinese Air Force before the fifth-generation aircraft. The early J-11A was a localized model of the Su-27 fighter jet. The J-11B was completely domestically produced. The batch of Su-27 was delivered. The self-manufactured J-11A flew for the first time in 1998, and it was installed in 2002. In 2007, the fully domestically produced J-11B was delivered for use. After the launch of the fully localized J-11B, the J-15 carrier-based fighter was also developed on the basis of the J-11B. Including 11B/BH and J-11BS, the total number may exceed 500.

There are 5 batches of 00, 01, 02, 03, and 04, about 100, and the degree of localization is gradually increasing. The 00-02 batches are basically the original SU-27SK; the 03 and 04 batches are gradually replaced with domestic radar and other avionics, some of which can launch domestically produced PL-12 missiles, greatly increasing the combat capability. At present, most of the old J-11 avionics have been upgraded. In the past, only semi-active R-27 could be launched. After the upgrade, it can launch active R-77, and the combat capability is enhanced.

The biggest problem that restricts the modification potential of the J-11B series is the poor airframe life of the J-11 series. The body life of the third-generation aircraft in the United States is generally more than 6,000 hours, or even more than 100 million hours. The premise of the improvement of these third-generation aircraft in the United States is that these aircraft still have enough airframe life, so such a modification has a good cost-effectiveness ratio. However, the J-11B does not have this condition. The body structure of the J-11B is basically the same as that of the Su-27SK and the J-11A.

The J-11B is a domestically improved Su-27SK. It is purely for air dominance and does not have the ability to attack the ground. However, the body is optimized, composite materials are used, and domestic weapons and fire control systems can be used. The J-11 is more advanced, and of course it is more complicated. In general, through the improvement of the J-11B, Shenfei has accumulated a certain amount of experience.

Even when using suitable materials to replace the raw materials, it follows the principle of "structure and generation", so the life of the body will not exceed 4000 (Su-27SK). The life of the aircraft is about 2500 hours. In fact, this is the main reason why the military does not make major upgrades to the Su-27SK and J-11A. After all, the avionics system of modern fighter aircraft accounts for an increasing proportion of the total aircraft cost, even more than 60%. If the military spends a lot of money to install expensive avionics systems on the J-11 series, but it will be retired in a few years, such a deal will not come together.

Whether it is Su-27SK, J-11A or J-11B, it is mainly based on air superiority, similar to the F15A and C series of the United States. These planes only have very limited surface strike capabilities, mainly throwing iron bombs and launching uncontrolled rockets. They cannot use precision-guided munitions and can only perform low-intensity surface strike missions. The Su-27 series has a large range and an excellent pylon arrangement, which is naturally suitable for performing opposite strike missions.

The J-11D is a modified model based on the J-11B, making full use of the design experience of the J-11BS and J-16. In the internal structure of the body, the use of composite materials, new aviation systems and electronic warfare devices. Although the two are quite similar in appearance. But there are a lot of differences inside. This is similar to the Su-27SK and Su-35 fighters. If the internal structure of the J-11B is modified, the amount of work will be quite huge.

he J-11B is a localized model that is based on the Su-27SK and is equipped with Chinese avionics, weapon systems and engines. The performance is more advanced than the original imported Su-27SK fighter. But the aerodynamic layout has not changed, with three weapon pylons under each wing. Each wing of this and Su 30MK, Su 35S, and J-11D are four weapon pylons.

The J-11D is simply a single-seat version of the AVIC Shenfei J-16, but it highlights the air combat performance. Although the J-11D has been flying for many years, it has not been mass-produced. To a certain extent, users are not very satisfied with its performance. As an air-to-air fighter, users would rather choose the slightly more expensive J-20 fighter than the J-11D, which has much lower performance.

The biggest possibility is to upgrade the avionics system and electronic warfare equipment on the basis of the active J-11B, so that it can use the latest air-to-air and air-to-ground precision guided weapons. This point can actively refer to the mature experience of the J-11D.


Images emerged on Chinese military web forums suggesting sensor upgrades to Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-11A combat aircraft, with reports noting that two regiments have received these modifications so far. Upgraded J-11As appear to have four new missile approach warning systems (MAWS), two just aft the cockpit facing forward and two pointing aft on the vertical stabilisers. Similar systems have previously been fitted to the H-6M and H-6K strategic bombers.

Chinese reports also indicate that cockpit displays have been upgraded and that an upgraded fire control system allows the fighter to use Russian Vympel R-77 or Chinese Luoyang PL-10 medium-range air-to-air missiles. Available imagery cannot confirm these upgrades. There is little to indicate that the J-11A's radar has also been upgraded. However, China's development of new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Chengdu J-10B and J-20 fighters indicates that radar upgrades are possible for older SAC J-11s.

J-11C / J-11BH

J-11C is the aircraft carrier version of the J-11B. The J-11C under development, reportedly as the Chinese version of Su-33. The first mock-up of J-11C was displayed in public at air shows and defense exhibitions in China in late 2002, and the mock-up is shown to be able to be armed with all currently available Chinese anti-ship missiles, as well as air-to-air missile including PL-12.

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Page last modified: 09-02-2022 15:26:44 ZULU