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A Shenyang J-11 flies over Anshan Airfield in March 2007.
Role Multirole Air Superiority Fighter
Manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
First flight 1998
Introduction 1998
Status Active service
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force
Produced 1998-Present
Number built 164 (As of February 2012).[1]
Developed from Sukhoi Su-27SK (airframe for J-11)
Variants Shenyang J-15
Shenyang J-16

The Shenyang J-11 (Chinese: 歼击机-11/歼-11; pinyin: Jianjiji-11/Jian-11) with NATO reporting name: Flanker B+ is a single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) air superiority fighter and manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the sole operator of the aircraft.

The base J-11/A is a fourth-generation jet fighter which, like its Sukhoi brethren, is intended as a direct competitor to Western fourth generation fighters such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.[2]


Proposed J-11

In the 1970s, Shenyang Aircraft Factory proposed a light fighter powered by the British Rolls-Royce Spey 512 engine, but otherwise similar to the MiG-19 then in service. Known as the J-11, the project was abandoned due to difficulties in obtaining the engines.[3]

Modern J-11

The J-11 was finally born in 1995 as a Chinese version of the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27SK air superiority fighter after China secured a $2.5 billion production agreement which licensed China to build 200 Su-27SK aircraft using Russian-supplied kits. Under the terms of the agreement, these aircraft would be outfitted with Russian avionics, radars and engines. However, in 2004, Russian media reported that Shenyang co-production of the basic J-11 was halted after around 100 examples were built. The PLAAF later revealed a mock-up of an upgraded multi-role version of the J-11 in mid-2002. The indigenous J-11B variant incorporates various Chinese material modifications and upgrades to the airframe with improved manufacturing methods in addition to the inclusion of domestic Chinese technologies such as radar, avionics suites and weaponry,[4][5][6][7][8] including anti-ship and PL-12 air-to-air missiles presumably for the role of a maritime strike aircraft. The alleged reason for the sudden stop in the production line of the J-11 was because it could no longer satisfy the PLAAF's requirements,[4] due to elements such as the obsolete avionics and radar, which were structured for aerial missions.[9]

The J-11/J-11B's legitimacy remains unproven, despite a wealth of information coming to light since 2007. In the course of a press conference at the 2009 Farnborough Airshow, Alexander Fomin, Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Co-operation, reported that Russia had not so far tabled any questions to China with regard to "copying" military equipment. Fomin reported that Russia handed China the licences to manufacture the aircraft and its components, including an agreement on the production of intellectual property rights. Details of intellectual property rights, however have not been disclosed, fuelling speculation about a "secret" contract or parts of the original contract. The licence, at least officially, did not include an aircraft carrier version- Sukhoi Su-33 nor any variant of it, such as the Shenyang J-15.[10] At the MAKS 2009, Rosoboronexport's General Manager Anatoli Isaykin was quoted saying: "Russia is going to investigate the J-11B, as a Chinese copy of the Su-27 and Sukhoi Company is partaking in the process."[11] In 2010, Rosoboronexport announced via their official website that it was in talks with the Chinese side, regarding the ongoing production of weapons that Russia considers as un-licenced. In light of the ongoing investigations, Rosoboronexport expressed its concern over future sales of advanced Russian systems and components to China.[12][13]


In the future, the current AL-31 engine may be replaced by an indigenous engine known as the WS-10 Taihang turbofan.[14] At the Zhuhai 2002 airshow, a photo was released allegedly depicting a J-11 modified for flight testing of a single WS-10A.[15] Andrei Chang, a military specialist on China reported that one J-11A was outfitted with the indigenously produced WS-10A turbofan engine, J-11B also uses WS-10A. However, Russian media reports also indicate that China still intends to upgrade the current J-11 fleet's engines with either Saturn-Lyulka or Salyut powerplants. Engines under consideration include the Saturn AL-31-117S (a development of the Lyulka AL-31F planned for the Russo-Indian Su-30MKIs), and the Salyut AL-31F-M1, an improved variant of the AL-31F engine.[16]

In 2002, Russian media reported that Shenyang Aircraft Corporation was looking into replacing Russian-made J-11/Su-27SK components with domestic, Chinese-made parts. Specifically, to replace the Russian-made NIIP N001 radar with a Chinese-made fire control radar based on the Type 147X/KLJ-X family, the AL-31F engine with WS-10A, and Russian R-77 AAM's with Chinese-made PL-9 and PL-12 AAM's. One J-11 was photographed with an AL-31F and a WS-10A engine installed for testing in 2002. However, it was not until 2007 when the Chinese government finally revealed information on the domestic J-11: the J-11 used to test WS-10 was designated as J-11WS, and it was when state television station CCTV-7 aired J-11B footages in mid-2007 when the existence of J-11 with domestic components was finally confirmed officially.

Serial manufacturing of the WS-10 and integration with the J-11, proved to be more difficult than expected. As a result, even though several related prototypes had been tested and at least one regiment converted to the Taihang powered J-11B version in 2007, these aircraft were later grounded for an extended period due to a poor operational reliability. A report in the Washington Times suggested that the Chinese engines lasted 30 hours before they needed servicing, compared to 400 hours for the Russian versions.[17] Defects were traced back to the engine manufacturer, Shenyang Liming Aircraft Engine Company employing sub-standard manufacturing and quality control procedures. Several subsequent batches temporarily reverted to the original, Russian AL-31F turbofans. The engines manufacturing problems had finally been solved by the end of 2009 and the WS-10A had reportedly proved mature enough to power the Block 02 aircraft.[10]

Operational history

In March 2011 a joint Sino-Pakistani exercise, Shaheen 1, was conducted at a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base involving a contingent of Chinese aircraft and personnel from the PLAAF.[18] Information on which aircraft were used by each side in the exercise was not released, but photos of Pakistani pilots inspecting what appeared to be Chinese Shenyang J-11B fighters were released on the internet. The exercise lasted for around 4 weeks and was the first time the PLAAF had deployed to and conducted "operational" aerial maneuvers in Pakistan with the PAF.[19]


  • J-11 - The Chinese-built version of the Russian Su-27SK. The N001V radar, with TS101M processor capable of single target engagement and simultaneously tracking 10 targets during an engagement, is installed. Flight instrumentation incorporates two CRT multifunction displays (MFD) of similar size, one on top of the other with the upper MFD fitted to the right of the HUD.[20][21][22] Unconfirmed claims made by Chinese web sources state that the additional CRT display is used in conjunction with domestic electro-optical avionics and weaponry added to J-11, which avoids having to integrate the domestic avionics and weaponry with the aircraft's Russian systems.
  • J-11A - A J-11 with further radar and flight instrumentation upgrade, most notably with the adoption of EFIS in its avionics. The J-11's N001V radar is replaced by the N001VE with Baguet series BCVM-486-6 processor, capable of simultaneously engaging two of ten targets tracked with semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles. An improved domestic Chinese helmet mounted sight (HMS) system first appeared on J-11A. The cockpit incorporates an EFIS designed by China Aviation Industry Corporation I which replaces most of the original Su-27SK's analogue dial indicators with four color MFDs.[9] The EFIS incorporates three large MFDs, taking up most of the dashboard space, with the center MFD at a slightly lower position than the two side MFDs. A slightly smaller color MFD is located below the three large MFDs, to the bottom right corner of the dashboard.[23]
  • J-11B - An indigenised multirole fighter using a Flanker type airframe and advanced Chinese avionics, weaponry and technologies, reduced RCS, MAWS, IRST, and composites to lighten the airframe weight by 700 kg.[6][7][24][25] It has been said that the J-11B is over 90% indigenous.[26] It has been reported that more than 2 regiments of J-11B are currently in service. In May 2007, the existence of J-11B was confirmed by the Chinese government for the first time when state-run Chinese TV stations aired a report on the J-11B in PLAAF service. It has been claimed that the J-11B is planned to incorporate an AESA radar.[27]
  • J-11BS - A tandem twin seat version of the J-11B under development, initially developed to serve as a combat-capable training aircraft for J-11B pilots.[28] It is reported that the first prototype was built by the end of 2007 and it is also rumored that a prototype aircraft crashed in 2009 during a test flight.[28] It is believed that the letter S stands for Shuangzuo, meaning twin seater in Chinese. On June 9, 2007, a model of the J-11BS was revealed to the public during the opening ceremony of the new aerospace museum of the Harbin Institute of Technology. As of 2012, the number of J-11B and J-11BS in service is over 120.[29]
  • J-11BH - Naval version of the J-11B, which was first sighted in May 2010.[27][28]
  • J-15 - Carrier-based version based on the airframe T-10K-3, the prototype of Sukhoi Su-33 purchased from Ukraine in 2001, with indigenous fighter features Chinese technologies as well as avionics from the J-11B program.[30]
  • J-16 - A strike variant of the J-11BS with longer range and upgraded avionics, the concept is similar to F-15E fighter/bomber.[28] According to media reports, this fighter is based on Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKK that was sold to China in 2000.[31][32] First few photos of J-16 were published on Chinese internet websites around June 2012, it appears J-16 has a slightly different vertical stabilizer comparing J-11 fighter or J-15 naval fighter. It is equipped with missile pylons for Chinese PL-8 air-to-air missiles, another difference comparing earlier J-11 variants. And its dual-seat layout is certainly different from any single seat Shenyang-manufactured Su-27 variants.[33]
  • J-17 - A much-upgraded variant of the J-11B aimed to be in the Su-34 class. It features a much stealthier design, internal weapons bays, stealth-optimized engine intakes, and canted vertical fins. First flight is expected to be in 2011.[28] The existence of J-17 was first reveal in the 2nd Zhuhai Airshow held in 1998, when Aviation Industry Corporation of China publicized a video clip showing a model of jet undergone wind-tunnel testing. The model looks identical to Sukhoi Su-34 in that it had the same side-by-side cockpit configuration and the duck-beak nose that no other models of the Flanker family had except Su-32/34.[34] Chinese internet sites have reported that J-17 is intended to be in the same class of Sukhoi Su-34,[35] with redesigned fuel tanks in the fuselage to incorporate the internal weapons bay, while the restroom behind the cockpit of the Su-34 is deleted on J-17 to make more room, which is used for an additional fuel tank, making up the lost fuel capacity due to the adoption of internal weapons bay. However, the exact designation of this Chinese derivative of Flanker was not shown in the original video clip, and it was not after more than a decade later when the designation J-17 was finally revealed.[36]


 People's Republic of China

Specifications (J-11A)

Data from[37][38][39]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 21.9 m (71 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.70 m (48 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 5.92 m (19 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 62.04 m² (667.8 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 16,380 kg [40] (36,115 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 23,926 kg (52,747 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 33,000 kg (73,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-31F or Woshan WS-10A "Taihang" turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 75.22 kN / 89.17 kN (16,910 lbf / 20,050 lbf)[41] each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 123 kN / 132 kN (27,495 lbf / 29,700 lbf) [42] each


  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.35 (2,500 km/h, 1,550 mph) at altitude
  • Range: 3,530 km (2,070 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 m (62,523 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 300 m/s[43] (60,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 371.0 kg/m² (76 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight:
    • Dry: 0.66
    • With afterburner: 1.07
  • G-limit: 9 g



  • Fire-control radar: NIIP Tikhomirov N001VE Myech coherent pulse Doppler radar. J-11B to be equipped with AESA radar.[27]
  • OEPS-27 electro-optic system
  • NSts-27 helmet-mounted sight (HMS)
  • Gardeniya ECM pods

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The AMR Regional Air Force Directory 2012". Asian Military Review. February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  2. Gordon and Davison 2005, p. 9.
  3. Collins, Jack. "Chinese Fighter Development". Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "China copies Su-27 fighter, may compete with Russia - paper". RIA Novosti. 
  5. "Chinese version of Russian jet endangers bilateral relations". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Chinese Aircraft - J-11 (Sukhoi Su-27)".  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "globalsec_j11" defined multiple times with different content
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wendell Minnick. "Russia Admits China Illegally Copied Its Fighter". DefenceNews. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. 
  8. SIPRI Yearbook 2009:Armaments, Disarmament, and International Security. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2009-09-15. ISBN 978-0-19-956606-8. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "J-11A cockpit". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Andreas Rupprecht. December 2011. "China's 'Flanker' gains momentum. Shenyang J-11 update". Combat Aircraft Monthly. Vol. 12, No. 12, p. 40–42.
  14. "Overseas media: Chinese naval J-11s spotted in the open". Global Times. 
  15. Richard D. Fisher, Jr. (2003-10-07). "New developments in Russia-China Military Relations". United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  16. "Su-27 Modernisation Programme". Sinodefence. 2006-11-30. Archived from the original on 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  17. Pomfret, John (25 December 2010). "Military strength eludes China, which looks overseas for arms". 
  18. "Pak Air force conducts joint exercise with China". Times of India. Mar 19, 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  19. Zambelis, Chris (May 20, 2011). ""Shaheen 1" Exercise Signals Expansion of China-Pakistan Alliance". China Brief Volume: 11 Issue: 9. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  20. "J-11 cockpit". Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2011-05-12. [dead link]
  21. "Su-27 & J-11 cockpits". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  22. "Su-27 & J-11 cockpits comparison". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  23. Air Power Australia (2010-08-29). "J-11A avionics". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  24. "China Air Force". Retrieved 2012-02-03. [dead link]
  25. Air Power Australia (2010-08-29). "Shenyang J-11B Sino-Flanker". Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  26. "J-11 Fighter". 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Parsons, Ted. "Chinese naval J-11s spotted in the open". Jane's Defence Weekly via Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 "Chinese Military Aviation | China Air Force". Retrieved 2011-05-12. [dead link]
  29. Richard D. Fisher, Jr. (2012-03-19). "China Modernizes Air Force On Dual Tracks". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  30. New Chinese Ship-Based Fighter Progresses
  31. Chinese Counterfeiters Nail Another Russian Jet Fighter
  32. J-16 Red Eagle (Jianjiji-16 Fighter aircraft 16) / F-16
  33. J-16 Multirole fighter bomber, More photos surfaced
  34. J-17
  35. J-17 Fighter-bomber
  36. Shenyang J-17
  37. "Su-27 Specifications". 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  38. Sukhoi Su-27SK. KNAAPO.
  39. "Sukhoi Company (JSC) - Airplanes - Military Aircraft - Su-27SК - Aircraft performance". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  40. "Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker Specifications". Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  41. Originally measured as 7,600 kgf.
  42. Originally measured as 12,500 kgf.
  43. "Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  • Golan, John (2006). "China's Hidden Power: The First Half Century of PLAAF Fighter Aviation". 

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