Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chinese Naval J-11s Spotted in the Open

Posted by newsonline at 11:01 AM 0 Comments

DCIn 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.
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