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crash8pilot

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Article Contents: The author explains why there is very little news about the J-16D project and its relationship with the J-15D project.

From the point of view of the author: Project J-16D has stopped, like the previous J-11D. And its technology was used to develop the J-15D

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迷彩虎 has a YouTube channel, and I'd occasionally watch some of his stuff especially when I'm trying to get a feel for a topic I'm unfamiliar with before doing further browsing on the web.... While I wouldn't call him a fanboy, I wouldn't call him a credible source either - not as credible as Rick Joe, Denio, or Henri K anyway who are proven PLA watchers where their insight is actually backed by actual footage or citation from PLA/CMC documents.

Moreover I disagree with 迷彩虎's assessment. I can see two scenarios of how the J-16D is fielded onto front line units:
  1. The PLA I believe has three Special Mission Divisions, and I can see them fielding the J-16D into a couple dedicated electronic attack brigade/regiment... sorta like how the 93rd Air Brigade (or are they still a regiment? Denio correct me if I'm wrong here ahaha) operates the J-8FR (reconnaissance variant)
  2. A fighter squadron has 4 aircraft, two squadrons make up a flight group... and each flight group typically has two spare backup airframes. Three flight groups then form a brigade, giving a brigade a total of 24-30 airframes. So I could see a J-16 Air Brigade having a squadron or a flight groups worth of J-16Ds.
Either scenario the PLA doesn't need the 600 J-16Ds airframes like the J-10C as 迷彩虎 suggests, because the J-16D serves a niche mission of electronic attack rather than a front line fighter. Case and point a USN carrier air wing (~80 aircraft) has about 5 Growler airframes (nine CVWs gives us ~50 frontline Growler airframes), and the USMC only had four Prowler squadrons.

Based on what I'm reading both J-15D and J-16D are both to be fielded by the PLAN and PLAAF respectively, and I can't find anything to suggest either program has been canned.... In fact to double check my suspicions, I found Denio's tweet about the J-16D dated from last August.
 

Deino

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View attachment 71661

Article Contents: The author explains why there is very little news about the J-16D project and its relationship with the J-15D project.

From the point of view of the author: Project J-16D has stopped, like the previous J-11D. And its technology was used to develop the J-15D

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Thanks a lot for your post, but I must admit, I'm a bit since I never before heard from him and IMO to stop the J-16D - a PLAAF project - to develop the J-15D - a PLAN project - makes no since when the PLAAF requirement is still not solved.
 

Scchwerter_

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Thanks a lot for your post, but I must admit, I'm a bit since I never before heard from him and IMO to stop the J-16D - a PLAAF project - to develop the J-15D - a PLAN project - makes no since when the PLAAF requirement is still not solved.
It COULD (I highly doubt this) be that J-15D can simultaniously satisfy the requirements of both PLAAF and PLANAF... But again we have zero proof that J-16D has been ditched, and I can't realistically see PLAAF adopting a flanker variant that has different structural design elements, and possibly with different maintaince procedures than what they already have over something derived from a model that's currently in service (and in quite large numbers) with the PLAAF
 

Deino

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It COULD (I highly doubt this) be that J-15D can simultaniously satisfy the requirements of both PLAAF and PLANAF... But again we have zero proof that J-16D has been ditched, and I can't realistically see PLAAF adopting a flanker variant that has different structural design elements, and possibly with different maintaince procedures than what they already have over something derived from a model that's currently in service (and in quite large numbers) with the PLAAF


That makes no sense at all. IMO the PLAAF will never field the J-15D. Either the whole project is dead or only a PLAN project. But if the PLAAF will introduce such a capability the J-16 makes the most sense as a platform.
 

ougoah

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That makes no sense at all. IMO the PLAAF will never field the J-15D. Either the whole project is dead or only a PLAN project. But if the PLAAF will introduce such a capability the J-16 makes the most sense as a platform.

The J-16D flew six years ago. They either decided against it and so never fielded it, introduced a different electronic attack version that looks near identical to existing J-16s, or it has simply never been revealed while in service. The J-15 itself may be a navalised fighter in the sense that its folding wings and horizontal stabilisers are near useless features and pointless complexity along with its tail hook and heavy duty landing gear. However, the general canard-ed single seat flanker design I would argue is better than the J-16 for a EW attack aircraft based on a fighter platform. Unless that is a second pilot is required to operate and optimise its functions. It may be the case these days that a second pilot is much less necessary for dedicated EW fighter.

So if a second pilot isn't required, a single seater platform is much more suited. Canards also still improve lift and allow for otherwise heavier equipment under the radome.

Now this isn't to say that a J-15D is going to be the EW fighter for the PLAAF in place of J-16, but a canard flanker, single seater with all the navalised elements removed I think would actually make it a better platform. For one thing it'll have one less pilot to support and weigh down.
 

crash8pilot

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The J-16D flew six years ago. They either decided against it and so never fielded it, introduced a different electronic attack version that looks near identical to existing J-16s, or it has simply never been revealed while in service. The J-15 itself may be a navalised fighter in the sense that its folding wings and horizontal stabilisers are near useless features and pointless complexity along with its tail hook and heavy duty landing gear. However, the general canard-ed single seat flanker design I would argue is better than the J-16 for a EW attack aircraft based on a fighter platform. Unless that is a second pilot is required to operate and optimise its functions. It may be the case these days that a second pilot is much less necessary for dedicated EW fighter.

So if a second pilot isn't required, a single seater platform is much more suited. Canards also still improve lift and allow for otherwise heavier equipment under the radome.

Now this isn't to say that a J-15D is going to be the EW fighter for the PLAAF in place of J-16, but a canard flanker, single seater with all the navalised elements removed I think would actually make it a better platform. For one thing it'll have one less pilot to support and weigh down.
Considering the Americans only quite recently managed to make the change from a 4-crew Prowler to a 2-crew Growler to serve the electronic attack mission, I'm not sure the PLA is able to make the leap to go from a Y-9 ELINT that is highly effective from a strategic standpoint but lacks tactical countermeasures (speed, the ability to fire AAMs and ARMs, as well as the ability to fly unescorted in a hostile environment) to a single-seat fighter airframe that is capable of EA/EW as well as the SEAD mission, and thus operating at a tactical level. Yes automation is getting more sophisticated, however I just don't think we've reached a level of sophistication where automation knows when/how/what to jam.... cause after all there's only so much jamming you can do before the enemy operates close enough to declutter your jamming, or perhaps even get an IR heat signature lock.

What I mean is that the same technology that's meant to be a force multiplier can also become a massive handicap because once you start jamming, the enemy knows you're coming - what do you do next? Maybe get your own fighters/ships to lock up and kill the enemy while they're down? Perhaps maneuver to flank the enemy in the midst of confusion (decoy jamming)? Case and point TOPGUN has a whole separate branch to develop and train EA/EW tactics, because the mission set is a lot more sophisticated than "just" operating a jet... EA/EW has a lot wider implications to the overall war fighting doctrine, and that might also explain why we don't hear much from the J-15D and J-16D from an OpSec standpoint. All the multiple layers of decisions that need to be made, the appropriate tactics/strategy that is to be executed, alongside operating the multitude of sophisticated avionics and sensors might just be a little too much workload to add to a pilot who already has his or her hands full flying a jet at 400+ knots whilst also on the lookout for hostile aircraft/threats.... and why I just don't think anyone will be making the jump towards a single-seat EA/EW aircraft soon.
 
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Scchwerter_

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That makes no sense at all. IMO the PLAAF will never field the J-15D. Either the whole project is dead or only a PLAN project. But if the PLAAF will introduce such a capability the J-16 makes the most sense as a platform.
True, I also think the PLAAF is highly unlikely to adopt the J-15D over J-16D
 

Scchwerter_

Junior Member
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The J-16D flew six years ago. They either decided against it and so never fielded it, introduced a different electronic attack version that looks near identical to existing J-16s, or it has simply never been revealed while in service. The J-15 itself may be a navalised fighter in the sense that its folding wings and horizontal stabilisers are near useless features and pointless complexity along with its tail hook and heavy duty landing gear. However, the general canard-ed single seat flanker design I would argue is better than the J-16 for a EW attack aircraft based on a fighter platform. Unless that is a second pilot is required to operate and optimise its functions. It may be the case these days that a second pilot is much less necessary for dedicated EW fighter.

So if a second pilot isn't required, a single seater platform is much more suited. Canards also still improve lift and allow for otherwise heavier equipment under the radome.

Now this isn't to say that a J-15D is going to be the EW fighter for the PLAAF in place of J-16, but a canard flanker, single seater with all the navalised elements removed I think would actually make it a better platform. For one thing it'll have one less pilot to support and weigh down.
The J-15D is also twin seat tho...
 

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