Military Wiki
A J-6 fighter on display at the China Aviation Museum
Role Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corporation[1]
First flight 17 December 1958[1]
Introduction December 1961
Retired Late 1990s (China)
Mid-2002 (Pakistan)
Primary users People's Liberation Army Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
North Korea Air Force
Bangladesh Air Force
Produced 1958-1981
Number built 3,000[1]
Developed from Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19[1]
Variants Nanchang Q-5[1]

The Shenyang J-6 (Chinese: 歼-6; designated F-6 for export versions[1]) (NATO-Codename Farmer) was the Chinese-built version of the Soviet MiG-19 'Farmer' fighter aircraft.

Design and development

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Although the MiG-19 had a comparatively short life in Soviet service, the Chinese came to value its agility, turning performance, and powerful cannon armament, and produced it for their own use between 1958 and 1981. By the end of 2005, J-6s have been retired from active combat missions. While the basic MiG-19 has been retired from all but three nations, its airframe contributed to the Chinese ground attack version, the Q-5, which still flies for numerous nations.

The J-6 was considered "disposable" and was intended to be operated for only 100 flight hours (or approximately 100 sorties) before being overhauled. The Pakistan Air Force was often able to extend this to 130 hours with diligent maintenance.[2]


The J-6 has a maximum speed at altitude of 1,540 km/h (960 mph), Mach 1.45. Service ceiling is 17,900 m (58,700 ft). Combat radius with two drop tanks is about 640 km (400 mi). Powerplant is two Liming Wopen-6A (Tumansky R-9) turbojet engines. In addition to the internal cannon armament, most have provision for four wing pylons for up to 250 kg (550 lb) each, with a maximum ordnance load of 500 kg (1,100 lb). Typical stores include unguided bombs, 55 mm rocket pods, or PL-2/PL-5 (Chinese versions of Soviet K-13 (NATO AA-2 'Atoll') air-to-air missiles.

Operational history

The J-6 still is in service with North Korea, Myanmar (Burma).


Albanian Air Force J-6s replaced the J-5s on the border to intercept Yugoslav incursions into Albanian airspace. However, the J-6 was ineffective against the faster Yugoslav MiG-21 'Fishbed'. Once the F-7A became available, the J-6 was redeployed to guard Tirana. As of 2005 all Albanian fighters were grounded due to lack of spare parts.

Indo-Pakistan Wars

A retired Pakistan Air Force F-6 on display.

The F-6 was flown by the Pakistan Air Force from 1965 to 2002, the aircraft design undergoing around 140 modifications to improve its capabilities in the interceptor and close air support roles. The PAF F-6 fighters participated in the Indo-Pak War 1971 against India, scoring approximately 6 confirmed aerial victories including one Indian Mig-21. The three Pakistani J-6 squadrons flew nearly a thousand sorties,[3] during which the PAF lost 3 F-6 to ground fire and one in aerial combat. An F-6 was also lost to friendly fire.[citation needed][4] One of the F-6 pilots shot down was Wajid Ali Khan, who was taken as a POW and later became a Member of Parliament in Canada.The F-6 was retired by PAF in 2002

Vietnam War

The supersonic speed advantage provided by the MiG-21's more modern turbojet engine was found to be not as useful in combat as originally thought, because aerial dogfights at the time were conducted almost entirely in the sub-sonic speed regime. The J-6 (and hence the MiG-19 also) was found to be more manoeuvrable than the MiG-21 and, although slower, its acceleration during dogfights was considered adequate. The North Vietnamese Air Force fielded at least one unit of J-6 during the war, the 925th Fighter Regiment, beginning in 1969.[5]

Ogaden War

Somalian J-6's participated in the Ogaden War and suffered greatly because of the superior opposition faced (Cuban pilots fought for Ethiopia). Over 75% of the Somali Air Force was destroyed in the war but some J-6s and survived until the country turned into turmoil in the early 1990s.

Uganda-Tanzania War

During the Uganda-Tanzania War, Tanzanian J-6's and Shenyang F-5s were tasked to handle any possible Ugandan fighters which consisted of MiG-15's and MiG-17's, while F-7A's were tasked to handle more advanced aircraft of Ugandan allies, such as the Libyan Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder'.

Kampuchea-Vietnam War

Shenyang J-6 fighter at Vietnamese People's Air Force Museum, Hanoi

In the era of Khmer Rouge control of Cambodia, Khmer J-6s participated in Kampuchea-Vietnamese border clashes for ground attacks. During the Vietnamese invasion in 1978, the Cambodian aircraft were reluctant to take-off to intercept the Vietnamese aircraft. The Vietnamese captured a number of J-6s and put them on public display.

Iran-Iraq War

During Iran-Iraq War, both sides deployed J-6 fighter jets. Iran's J-6 fighters were reported sourced from North Korea. Iraq's J-6 fighters were transferred from Egyptian Air Force. Most missions J-6s performed during Iran-Iraq War were air-to-ground attack.[6]




Two-seat FT-6

  • Shenyang J-6 - (a.k.a. Type 59, Dongfeng-102, Product 47 and F-6) Despite having no suffix to the designation, the J-6 appeared after the initial production of the J-6A had begun. The J-6 was equivalent, but not identical, to the MiG-19S.[1]
  • Shenyang J-6A - (a.k.a. Type 59A, Dongfeng-103, Jianjiji-6 Jia) - Early production from 1958 to 1960 was sub-standard and not accepted by the PLAAF. Production was halted, the jigs scrapped, and production restarted with assistance from the USSR. The J-6A was equivalent to the MiG-19P but not identical. The maiden flight was made by Wang Youhuai on 17 December 1958. The total production figure for this variant was only one hundred or so. It was reported that J-6A, along with J-8B, never actually passed PLAAF's test. The planes suffered from quality issues, flight characteristics were much lower than J-6, and were of little operational value.[1]
  • Shenyang J-6A - Production of the J-6 restarted after new assembly jigs, and other assistance, acquired from the USSR. Similar to MiG-19PF, an all-weather radar-equipped interceptor with two NR-30 30mm cannon. Exported as the F-6A.[1]
  • J-6B - (a.k.a. Type 59B, Dongfeng-105 and Jianjiji-6 Yi) Similar to MiG-19PM "Farmer-D", interceptor with two PL-1 (Chinese version of Soviet K-5 (AA-1 'Alkali') beam-riding air-to-air missiles; it is unclear if the J-6B retains its cannon. Only 19 J-6B's were built before the programme was terminated.[1]
  • J-6C - (a.k.a. Jianjiji-6 Bing, Product 55 and F-6C) Day fighter version with three 30mm cannon and braking parachute at the base of the rudder.[1] This cannon's code name is Type 30-1. Firing at 850 rounds per minute, it is effective against large aircraft with its armor-piercing and high-explosive ammunitions.[7]
  • Shenyang J-6I - Single-seat day-fighter prototype with fixed shock cone on the intake splitter plate.[1]
  • Shenyang J-6II - Single-seat tactical fighter prototype with adjustable shock cone on a raked back intake splitter plate.[1]
  • Shenyang J-6III - Advanced version of the J-6A with radome on the splitter plate (rather than the shock cone centerbody) for a Chinese-made radar. May also have been designated J-6 Xin.[1]
  • Shenyang/Tianjin JJ-6 - (Jianjiji Jiaolianji - fighter trainer, a.k.a. Product 48 and FT-6) Chinese designed two-seat trainer, stretched 84 cm (33.1 in) to accommodate second seat, armed with one 30 mm cannon.[1]
  • Shenyang JZ-6 - (Jianjiji Zhenchaji - reconnaissance fighter) Dedicated reconnaissance version with fuselage camera pack replacing cannon. As of April 2006, it was reported that the PLAAF 3rd Recon Regiment, 26 Air Division based in Nanjing MR, is the last regiment to actively fly the JZ-6 refusing to convert to JZ-8F.[8] Exported as the Shenyang FR-6.
  • Shenyang/Tianjin JJ-6 Testbed - Ejection seat testbed that succeeded H-5 ejection seat testbed.[1]
  • Xian BW-1 - Fly-by-wire flying controls test-bed for the Xian JH-7 flying control system.[1]
  • Guizhou J-6A - J-6A aircraft up-graded to carry two PL-2 (Pi Li - Thunderbolt) Infra-Red homing Air to Air Missiles (AAM's). The first flight was on 21 December 1975.


Shenyang J-6 Operators 2010 (former operators in red)

There are currently two active operators of the Shenyang J-6 out of fifteen total users in its history.

Current Operators


A North Korean Air Force J-6 on display at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul.

 North Korea

  • North Korea Air Force - As of February 2012, 98× F-6s remained in service. However, reports of dire levels of serviceability suggest an airworthiness rate of less than 50%.[9]

Former Operators

A Albanian Shenyang J-6C in Kucova Airbase.

Egyptian Air Force personnel inspect an Egyptian F-6

 People's Republic of China
Chinese-built variant Shenyang J-6, all single-seaters retired from frontline combat service in 1992, except for Nanchang Q-5 variant,[9] some J-6 was converted to target/attack drone (number not confirmed). As of 2010 all were decommissioned.
  • Iranian Air Force Used for short time in the 1980s withdrawn from service for newer fighters.
 North Vietnam

Specifications (J-6)

The nose of an F-6, showing the 30 mm cannons fitted in the right wing root and the lower body.

Data from Wilson[10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 12.54 m (41 ft)
  • Wingspan: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 25.0 m² (270 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,447 kg (11,983 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,560 kg (16,632 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Liming Wopen-6A (Tumansky RD-9B) afterburning turbojets, 36.78 kN (8,267 lbf) each
  • Fuel capacity: 1,800 kg (3,960 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 1,540 km/h (960 mph)
  • Range: 640 km (400 mi); combat 2,200 km (1,375 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 17,900 m (58,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 180 m/s (35,425 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 302.4 kg/m² (61.6 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.86


  • 3x 30 mm NR-30 cannons (70 rounds per gun for wing guns, 55 rounds for fuselage gun)
  • Up to 250 kg (550 lb) of unguided bombs or rockets pods, or PL-2/PL-5 (Chinese versions of Soviet K-13 (NATO AA-2 'Atoll') air-to-air missiles on 4 underwing pylons
  • See also


    1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Gordon,Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Chinese Aircraft. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6
    2. Yeager and Janos 1986, p. 396.
    3. Air Commodore Qadeer Ahmad Hashmi, "Final Salute to F-6", URL:
    4. AIRCRAFT LOSSES IN PAKISTAN -1971 WAR - Bharat Rakshak
    5. Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units of the Vietnam War. 2001, Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-162-1
    6. "J-6 Fighter Jets in wars". Retrieved 5 Sep 2011. 
    7. "J6 fighter jet ammunition". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
    9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "The AMR Regional Air Force Directory 2012". Asian Military Review. February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AMR" defined multiple times with different content
    10. Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, Australia: Aerospace Publications, 2000. p. 125. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.

    External links

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