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Pictures of rumored upgraded PLA J-11 jet fighter emerge

Pictures of rumored upgraded PLA J-11 jet fighter emerge

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) The People's Liberation Army Air Force's upgraded D variant of the mainstay J-11 jet fighter has taken its maiden flight, according to pictures that have emerged on a number of Chinese websites and forums. Compared to its predecessor, the J-11B, photographs of the rumored J-11D variant show a different design for the aircraft's nosecone and weapons hard points and an additional aerial-refueling system. According to Chinese military experts on the social media platform Weibo (??), the nosecone of the J-11D is more level than previously when it inclined downwards at a 10-degree angle. According to a report by Russia Today, the new nosecone on the J-11D may house an active electronically scanned array, instead of the passive variant found in the older J-11B. In addition, Chinese reports suggested that the J-11D has three pairs of weapons hard points, one pair more than its predecessor. The J-11D's wingtip pylons have also been redesigned to enable mounting of China's PL-10 air-to-air missiles. Military analysts said that following the upgrade, the capabilities of the J-11D is approaching that of the larger J-16 strike fighter, and noted that in the future, the two aircraft will only be differentiated by their single or double-seat configuration. Built by China's Shenyang Aircraft Factory, the J-11 and J-16 airframe designs are licensed from the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27 and the Sukhoi Su-30MKK. The J-11 was commissioned in 1998, the J-16 in 2013. (By Hu Li-tsung and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-23 01:58 GMT+08:00