The Many Faces of the Su-27 in the Chinese Air Force

The Many Faces of the Su-27 in the Chinese Air Force 

In many years, the PLA Air Force were armed with obsolete second-generation fighter F-7 and J-8, which is the key element in the defense of the PRC. While the need for third-generation fighter was trivial to 1990 such plans do not open a discussion.

After pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 that ended the oppression of speeches in Tiananmen Square, the West limited the scope of cooperation with China. Sino-Soviet conflict went on the decline, so makarom PRC turnover towards the USSR. But the end of the war cool and collapse of the USSR, together with the continuing tensions with Taiwan, the Chinese Air Force assured management of the need to develop its own promising fighter, because in the long run to rely on Russian weapons did not seem likely.

September 17, 1990 Chinese military delegation visited Kubinka air base, where she showed marketing flying MiG-29 fighters. Combat radius of the MiG-29 proved lacking for such a large country like China, apart from the fact he did not allow to solve the Taiwan issue. So Makar, the Chinese have expressed interest in the Su-27 fighter, the more expensive fighter possessing great combat radius of action. First request was rejected Russian control, but after several rounds of negotiations the agreement was concluded. Both countries agreed to supply 24 Su-27, including single versions and «Sparky.» In the upcoming agreement was reached for the delivery of 24 Su-27. Ordered fighters produced KnAAPO and IAPA.
Agreement, which is known in China as the «906 project», became the first export Su-27, and in February 1991 the Su-27 made a demo flight to Beijing Nanyuan Airport.
The first batch of 12 Su-27 (eight Su-27SK and four Su-27UBK) flew from Russia to China through Mongolia in late 1991 for a day or 1st, and it meant the official Adopt the airplane type. November 8, 1992 were delivered the remaining 12 aircraft, and a couple of fighter jets used in China for research purposes.

Second contract for the next 24 fighter was not signed immediately after the first, because with 2 between countries were controversies regarding the form of payment. For the first batch of 70% of the price was paid in barter (food supplies and products of light industry). Russian side believes that the following aircraft deliveries must be paid in U.S. currency, and in May 1995 he became deputy chairman of the Central Military Commission of China Liu Huaking visited Russia and agreed to the request, but with the condition in the transmission band of the PRC production of the Su-27. So Makarov signed a licensing agreement for the creation of the Su-27 in China.

In April 1996, 10 Su-27, including four Su-27SK and Su-6 27UBK were shipped to China. The remaining 14 Su-27SK fighters were transferred to the customer in July.

Outstanding properties

First raised in China Su-27 aircraft began to patrol in the area of ​​Taiwan first 1990s., And their properties were evaluated fighter pilots as «outstanding».

During this period, China started independent production of the Su-27SK. In order to prepare pilots for the increasing number of Su-27, the PLA Air Force felt the need to double versions UBC. December 3, 1999 the two countries signed an agreement to supply 28 Su-27UBK, and the first four «Sparky» IAPO production were put in Flight Training Center PLA Air Force December 15, 2000 A week later they were joined by eight cars, and more agreement was executed in September 2009 By this time it was exported to China 76 Su-27 (36 Su-27SK and Su-40 27UBK).

The designation of the Chinese versions of the Su-27SK letters «C» and «K» refers to «production» and «commercial». The main difference from the Russian export version of the Su-27 is a take-off weight, which is in the export of aircraft at the request of the Chinese side has been increased to 33 tons. Unguided weapons includes 100-kg, 250-kg and 500-kg bombs svobodnopadayuschie also 80 mm, 122 mm and 240-mm rockets. 10 suspension points allow you to carry a combat load total weight up to 8 tons, and the chassis has been strengthened. Configuration needed because requirements PLA Air Force is designated to each fighter was able to do percussion function. In addition, and this is a common place for Russian export fighter installed on their system EW had reduced properties and jammer L005 was replaced by L203/L204.

Any party had differences in the composition of the avionics. First 24 Su-27s were equipped weapons control system VCS-27 radar sighting system RLPK-27 radar and N001E. Target detection range with EPR 3 m. meter was 70 km. Up to 10 targets have been detected, but only one could be under constant bombardment. In subsequent Su-27 radar was installed N001P, which allowed two goals to fire immediately. In addition to the subsequent set of Su-27 was fitted with the navigation system A737.

The greatest ammunition for tasks air supremacy is 6 medium-range missiles R-27 or four short-range missiles R-73 acts. Because of the limitations imposed by WOS Su-27SK/UBK can not use the R-77.

Double versions of the Su-27UBK own worst flight several features, practical ceiling is reduced to 17.5 km compared with 18.5 km for a single option, but fighting properties remained unchanged.

On stage there is a J-11

Chinese aviation industry opposed the importation of foreign fighters, and this situation continued until the time until it was decided that the fighter J-10 can be mounted engine Su-27, and then position the industry softened somewhat. But the Chinese aviation industry is still bad attitude to the decision on the production of the Air Force Su-27.

Our homeland was unwilling to sell the license for the Su-27 to China, but eventually backed down when the Chinese side stated that in case of refusal to purchase the license transfer at least 48 Su-27 fighters. In 1993, Our homeland has agreed to sign a contract price of $ 150 million for the transfer of technology to the Chinese side, devices and provide the necessary technical support.

Our homeland has transferred the license to create China Su-27 December 6, 1996 According to the agreement, Our homeland was to help Chinese enterprises Shenyang Aviation Company (SAC) to establish production and release of the band 200 Su-27 for the next 15 years. Engines, radar, avionics and weapons systems had come from Russia. In addition, there was an agreement that in the event of a delay in the production of our homeland will deliver SAC desired components. Chinese Su-27 index gained Build «Project 11», and the name of J-11 after adopting.

The Many Faces of the Su-27 in the Chinese Air Force

In the summer of 1997 put SAC Our homeland complete set of manufacturing drawings. In the first half of 1998, SAC started production of the first 2-fighters, and 1 September of the same year the first J-11 under the control of the brain test pilot Fu Guaksinga (from the First Battalion of the PLA Air Force test) for the first time flew . First two aircraft were handed over to the Air Force for testing, which ended in December 2000

Basic version J-11 is not very different from the Su-27SK. J-11 earliest production batches were equipped monitor system GPS, the established right of the display on the windshield (HUD). On airplanes later release these monitors were installed as part of an integrated functional monitor. China has no plans to subsequent modifications earliest J-11. As will be spent in store Russian missiles, this party will be charged.


Success in assembling the J-11 Chinese emboldened to create an improved version with the introduction of Chinese devices, which received the name of J-11B, and the double version — J-11BS. It is equipped with brand new Chinese pulse-Doppler radar weapons control that can immediately detect 20 targets and direct missiles at six of them. Cockpit equipment was still improved by installing the tri-color holographic HUD and functional monitor.

J-11B can use Chinese missiles «air-to-middle range» PL-12 active homing missiles and short-range infrared homing acts with PL-8. For this new pylons have been developed. Because plumage PL-8 is significant enough in size, had to develop a step pylon to wingtip — only on this basis can be distinguished outside J-11B from J-11/Su-27SK. Other configurations are to install the nose cone of dark color system and warning of missile snow-white color, which is installed with 2-sides of the tail fairing J-11B.
The Many Faces of the Su-27 in the Chinese Air Force

More fundamental difference of J-11B engine is FWS10 Taihang Chinese design, similar to the engine General Electric F110, and owns a number of technologies Russian AL-31. His rod to the nominal mode is 77.6 kN, using Afterburner — 132kN. For comparison, the AL-31F engine at rated power has thrust 72.8 kN and 125kN in afterburner. The weight ratio of the engine to pull is 7.5, higher than the performance of Al-31F (7.1).

In the J-11B used composite materials, which allowed to reduce weight by 700 kg, and to maintain alignment to the bow was added ballast. Due to the introduction of absorbing materials, EPR J-11C less than the Su-27 at 25%.

First flight of J-11B was made in June 2002, and again lifted him into the air Guaksing Fu. 18 months later, test pilot Bi Hongdzhun graduated from flight tests and J-11B aircraft was transferred to the Air Force.


In 1999, China acquired in Ukraine unfinished aircraft carrier «Varyag», which is planned to be used as a training ship. Reasonable solution looked choice Su-33 carrier-based aircraft as for him, but rejected Our homeland Chinese inquiry in which China initially expressed willingness to purchase only 2-planes. As a result, China has applied to the Ukraine, where purchased third layout of the Su-33, T-10K-3.

Fortunately for the Chinese, T-10K-3 was the first production version of the Su-33 is actually a similar commercially available machines. He was raised nodules wing and reduced height of the vertical stabilizer, which was caused by neuvvyazkami detected during testing of experimental T-10K-2.

But that proved to be the basic airframe of the Su-33 is not very different from the Su-27. This was good news for the Chinese. Armed with knowledge acquired in the study of T-10K-3, China has developed a carrier-based fighter based on the J-11B, which was named J-11BJ («J» — from the adjective deck), then superseded by J-15 «Flying Shark».

The Many Faces of the Su-27 in the Chinese Air Force

Differences between J-11 and J-15 vtochnosti same as between Su-27 and Su-33. Were made subsequent configuration design: added frontal horizontal tail folding system wings, horizontal tail, pitot and tail fairing; was established nasal rack chassis with dual wheel main landing gear have been reinforced; added arrestor hook; Rod mounted air refueling; optical-location station was moved to the starboard. In addition fighter got phased array radar and engine FWS10H, wielding greater thrust and acceleration. J-15 can use up to 4 C-803 anti-ship missiles made in China, and in the current time is tested.


Management of the PLA Air Force impressed by precision strikes, attack aircraft demonstrated USAF 1990s., Threw a strategy on defense, and has taken a more assertive concept. The military decided to purchase fighter with increased combat radius acts and more heavily armed compared with the Su-27, and specifically with the ability to use precision missiles «air-surface».

At the end of 1996 during the visit of Russian Prime Minister Li Peng of China signed an agreement at the cost of 1.8 billion dollars for the purchase of 40 fighter functional. Negotiations on the agreement criterion began immediately after that. Company «Sukhoi» saw great potential in meeting the requirements in relation to their own Chinese fighter Su-30MK. It was decided to adopt the technology of the Su-27M in the development of the new fighter, which would retain the highest and thin carbon fiber reinforced stabilizers. They could be used as fuel tanks for growth range acts. This modification later received index Su-30MKK («K» means Chinese).

According to the results of a two-year negotiation Our homeland has agreed to implement the Su-30MKK in China. Details of the contract were agreed upon during the air show in Zhuhai in 1998 In March 1999 visit to Russia by Prime Minister Zhu Rongji signed a formal contract for the purchase of 38 fighters. This event was another turning point in Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation. In the same month, the first layout of the Su-30MKK made the first flight in Zhukovsky.

In November 2000, the layout of «502 blue» was shown at the air show in Zhuhai, and a month later the first batch of 10 Su-30MKK was delivered to China. Second decade was transferred August 21, 2001, and the final batch of 18 aircraft was obtained customers in December.

In July 2001, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his Russian officer Vladimir Putin signed an agreement for the purchase of 38 more fighters.

In 2002, the parties began negotiations regarding the purchase modifications Su-30MK2 for the Chinese navy, which differed modified weapons control system, allowing the use of X-31A anti-ship missiles.

First, in 2003 the two sides signed an agreement to supply 24 Su-30MK2 for the PLA Navy. They were transferred in 2004

Su-30MKK is superior compared with Su-27SK/Su-27UBK. He has two additional attachment points, each of which allows you to carry up to 2 tons of load. They are installed in the wing root and allow to hang large missiles «air-surface». Most combat load is increased from six to eight tons, and the largest in store fuel reached the 10185 kg. In addition was added in-flight refueling boom. As a result, the increased weight, chassis and part of the airframe parts have been strengthened. For tasks to win air superiority Su-30MKK can use the R-77 and R-73, and for strike missions missiles X-59, X-29 and X-31, also different laser-guided ASD.

Su-30MKK installed radar RLPK-27 with antenna N001VE. Being lightweight option N001V radar, N001VE can detect targets at a distance of 100 km. It can accompany up to 10 targets and fire at two of their missiles R-77. Su-30MK2 naval aviation radar equipped N001VEP whose detection range increased to 110 km. This modification can also use missiles like the X-59 and X-31A.

Translation Andrey Frolov
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