Military Wiki
Nanchang J-12 on display outside of the Chinese Aviation Museum
Role Supersonic fighter
Manufacturer Nanchang
First flight 26 December 1970
Status Development abandoned
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force

The NAMC J-12 (Chinese: 歼-12; NATO reporting name: unknown, if any) was a lightweight supersonic fighter built in the People's Republic of China for use by the PLAAF. It was one of first serious attempts taken by Chinese aircraft manufacturers to develop a modern jet fighter of indigenous design. Weighing 6,993 lb (3,172 kg) empty, it is one of the lightest jet fighters ever built. Neither the J-12 nor the related Shenyang J-11 (Not to be confused with the Shenyang J-11 Flanker B+ that entered service in 1998) entered service.

In 1969, the PLAAF issued a requirement for a small, inexpensive, STOL (short takeoff and landing) lightweight fighter to replace the MiG-19 then in service.[1] Two designs were submitted, the Shenyang J-11 and the Nanchang J-12. Design of the J-12 was led by Lu Xiao Peng, with the prototypes being built by the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company (NAMC). Flight testing of the three prototypes began on December 26, 1970. Performance was disappointing, so additional prototypes were built with improvements such as simplified control surfaces, a lighter area ruled fuselage, and revised intake. All variants looked similar; the J-12 was a small single-seat jet fighter with a low-set swept wings, swept control surfaces, tubular fuselage, and nose intake with small or absent shock cone.

In 1977, development of the J-12 was abandoned, probably because the Chengdu J-7, based on the Soviet MiG-21F, was considered superior. The J-12's main problems were insufficient firepower and engine thrust. The J-12 accumulated 61 hours in 135 flights by 1977. Nine J-12s are believed to have been built. In 1990s, Lu Xiao Peng proposed to upgrade J-12 fighter design to accommodate stealth features, and suggested modified J-12 fighter to be carrier based fighter for PLA Navy, in the none of the proposals turned into reality.[2]


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10.3 m (33 ft 9.5)
  • Wingspan: 7.2 m (23 ft 7.5 in)
  • Height: 3.73 m (12 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 16.0 m2 (172.2 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 3,172 kg (6,993 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 4,530 kg (9,987 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wopen WP-6Z Afterburning Turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 2,500 kg (5,512 lbf)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 4,050 kg (8,929 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 1,300 km/h (808 mph)
  • Combat range: 688 km (427 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 16,970 m (55,675 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10,800 meters/min (35,433 ft/min)


  • One 30 mm cannon in port wing root
  • One 23 mm cannon in starboard wing root
  • Three hardpoints; one under each wing and one under the fuselage
  • See also


    1. China Today: Aviation Industry. China Aviation Industry Press. 1989. 
    2. "J12 fighter stealth modification". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 

    External links

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