This is a discussion on China Flanker Thread II within the Air Force forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; Last paragraph almost completely ripped from Xinhui's blog. Shameless....
Last paragraph almost completely ripped from Xinhui's blog. Shameless.
The one thing missing in that detail is that in fact, the first bunch of Su-27s got overhauled sometime in 2003-2004 and there are pictures. Its probably they already reached their 5000 flight hour life by then, and only extended through that overhaul.
Please note the possibility that the planes, belonging to the 19th Division, might get replaced by other J-11s. Its likely they're getting the J-11s passed down from the 1st Division, these planes in turn replaced by the J-11B.
"Lets do a thermal sweep."
you'd think flankers wouldn't be retiring when J-7s and J-8s are still in service
unless these particular flankers were very heavily used, or unless Russian aircraft have much shorter life spans than Chinese aircraft.
Less is heard about the rotating of the J-7 and J-8, but that doesn't mean they don't retire old aircraft and acquire new ones. How long are service lives of the J-7 and J-8? How often they fly their J-7 and J-8? Do they expand service lives of those aircraft by changing critical components?
Fighter Aicraft, MiG-29/2
Because of the Cold War "push and recover" logistics system, the Soviet war machine provided forward area support on a continual wartime basis. New aircraft and/or depot refurbished aircraft were programmed into the forward areas at a replacement rate consistent with a strict utilization-replacement cycle. Just about the time the aircraft would reach a minimum point in flight hours remaining, that is, the hours just above the required amount needed to actually fight a war (which was always kept on the aircraft), they would pull it out and send it back to the factory for a total refurbishment. This process was logical to the Russian military mind, both as a convenience and a safety factor, since combat generally afforded the same results and it guaranteed maximum production rates back home with adequate spare airframes. Spare aircraft were actually stockpiled at bases to ensure no problems in the readiness of the units by unforeseen losses. This type of replenishment assumed that almost all single engine failures would result in the loss of the aircraft. In fact, many single engine failures in the MiG-29, did end in the ejection of the pilot and not in the recovering the aircraft. This is one of the reasons why such careful engineering was put into the ejection systems. Redundancy of systems, focused on survival not just the completion of the mission, was only recently incorporated into Russian primarily because of the requirements that accompanied the export of their MiG-29's and Su-27's.
Brassey's reports that the MiG-29 airframe service life is 2500 hours which could represent a 10 year lifespan at 250 hours per year (20.8 hrs/month).
It wasn't until the post-Cold War era that the Russian military industry had to improve the aircraft's longevity for export customers. The MiG-29 SMT was reported to have improved airframe lifespan of 4,000 hours, and the MiG-35 & Su-35 have reinforced titanium airframe that brings lifespan up to 6,000 hours.
Assuming China's early Su-27's were built to late Cold War era specs, the aircraft probably needs more frequent overhauls than newer planes.
But alas, the rumors is that this division is now being targeted for a J-10 conversion. So buh bye old birds.
Old J-7s are probably on the way out too, but remarkably a regiment of the J-7C/D is still in active service. That's the J-7 variant that looks more like the regular MiG-21 (MiG-21MF in this case). These planes came into service around the late eighties.
I do know J-7E has already started decommissioning. J-7Es were introduced to the PLAAF around 1991, just a year before the Su-27SKs did.
"Lets do a thermal sweep."
The mission profiles of the planes probably also has a lot to do with when they are retired.
IIRC, the J8Is left are mostly recon birds, and flying straight and fast does not put nearly as much stress and strain on an airframe as pulling high-gs in mock dogfights.
J-11BS prototype 522 (I think) undergoing tests at CFTE. You can see the tandem seating. And apparently, it's using WS-10A
Yes ... seems so !
I don't get it. Why is China continuing to develop Flankers? I don't know what the J-11BS will be used for at any rate. If it doesn't incorporate an AESA or other upgrades from the baseline J-11 then why are they building it?
PS: How come it took this long to see pics of the J-11BS? Isn't it just a two seater of the J-11b? Surely it isn't this hard to make a two seater...
PPS: This reply is full of questions. Any answers or opinions and i will be grateful.
First you question the reason for the continued development of the Flanker and then in the same breathe, you criticize it not being developed well enough to have ASEA radars.
The hardest part is re-designing the airframe and engines. Once you have the airframe and powerplant, incorporating different radars would be a relatively simple task in comparison.