China Flanker Thread III


ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
Think he just means SAC is responsible for "designing" upgrades to original flankers and managing subsystems. And of course building the flankers but SAC has done nothing to upgrade the design like Sukhoi has with su-35 for example. This is true but also not exactly something worth condemning since SAC's priorities and jobs may be in other projects or fields that are outside of the obvious visible changes.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
When Sukhoi actually make an EW flanker then we can talk.

While this is true, SAC isn't quite as responsible for this as all the equipment manufacturers, various developers, and the academic establishment behind the fundamental work for the j-16D.

If we simply compare Sukhoi and SAC in designing new flanker upgrades, su-35 is a kinematically new aircraft with plenty of rework and redesigns even if the outer shell appears just like a su-27. Wrt SAC, all subsequent sino flankers from j-11a have been more or less identical in structure. This is fine. There's no good reason to expect redesign like Sukhoi. After all, SAC developed the fc-31 and possibly other aerospace projects that aren't disclosed to being in service.

It's just when we're talking only the flanker family and how the Russian and Chinese ones diverged since j-11A, Sukhoi has done more work on the mechanical side of things. SAC has at most done mechanical changes to accommodate new and domestic internal subsystems.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
I think it might be worth noting here in case any reader is thinking it despite it being outside the scope of the conversation on sino and Russian flankers, flankers are old hat. They're good and useful and all that like a f-15ex has a place in the 2022 onwards era, SAC not upgrading the mechanical side of flankers doesn't mean SAC is not working. Remember that the SAC triplane stealthified flanker lost to CAC's j-20 for plaaf's 5th gen fighter competition.

At least we would hope not. I mean we have dark sword and fc-31 possibly other ucavs as major aircraft projects.
 

LCR34

Junior Member
Registered Member
When China brings Su-27k/J-11A production lines in the 90s, SAC is tasked to produce Su-27. Lets recap what SAC has achieved over the years.
1. Produce Su-27 by assembling kits provided, study blueprints and manuals provided, tries to absorb all the technology and knowledge in the process.
2. Obtained feedback from PLAAF, tries to modify flanker platform to better suits China needs.
3. Take matters into own hand (likely Russia unable/refuse to provide solutions). -> J11B project.
4. Eliminates inherent design flaws of flankers (structural integrity during sustained turn), integration of indigenous avionics, weapons and sensor suites without help of Russian.
5. Resolves flight control, weight distribution issue that arise from the use of composite and lighter, more efficient radar.
6. Integration of indigenous powerplant.
7. Creation of Carrier operation platform based on T-10K-3 prototype obtained from Ukraine.
8. FC-31 project => J-35 carrier based 5th gen fighter.
9. Reported massive use of 3D printing technology in J-35/FC31 program.

And some discredit SAC because they retained rear air brake for J-16? What? Next they gonna say SAC isnt able to make flankers with canards design (although J-15 have them) like the Mki, Mka, Mkm, SM2 etc?
 

latenlazy

Brigadier
While this is true, SAC isn't quite as responsible for this as all the equipment manufacturers, various developers, and the academic establishment behind the fundamental work for the j-16D.

If we simply compare Sukhoi and SAC in designing new flanker upgrades, su-35 is a kinematically new aircraft with plenty of rework and redesigns even if the outer shell appears just like a su-27. Wrt SAC, all subsequent sino flankers from j-11a have been more or less identical in structure. This is fine. There's no good reason to expect redesign like Sukhoi. After all, SAC developed the fc-31 and possibly other aerospace projects that aren't disclosed to being in service.

It's just when we're talking only the flanker family and how the Russian and Chinese ones diverged since j-11A, Sukhoi has done more work on the mechanical side of things. SAC has at most done mechanical changes to accommodate new and domestic internal subsystems.
Pretty sure the J-16 isn’t just a standard old flanker airframe structurally. SAC deserves way more credit than that.
 

LCR34

Junior Member
Registered Member
While this is true, SAC isn't quite as responsible for this as all the equipment manufacturers, various developers, and the academic establishment behind the fundamental work for the j-16D.

If we simply compare Sukhoi and SAC in designing new flanker upgrades, su-35 is a kinematically new aircraft with plenty of rework and redesigns even if the outer shell appears just like a su-27. Wrt SAC, all subsequent sino flankers from j-11a have been more or less identical in structure. This is fine. There's no good reason to expect redesign like Sukhoi. After all, SAC developed the fc-31 and possibly other aerospace projects that aren't disclosed to being in service.

It's just when we're talking only the flanker family and how the Russian and Chinese ones diverged since j-11A, Sukhoi has done more work on the mechanical side of things. SAC has at most done mechanical changes to accommodate new and domestic internal subsystems.
Also im pretty sure China acquired Su-35 to look at Russian version of evolved Flanker as compared to Sino-flankers, other than the engines. So SAC can further improve their flankers.
 

Patchwork_Chimera

Junior Member
Registered Member
Pretty sure the J-16 isn’t just a standard old flanker airframe structurally. SAC deserves way more credit than that.
Indeed. Even just from my knowledge, the airframe incorporates a large amount of composite construction, incorporates pretty much SOTA avionics (which in turn reduce their footprint, allowing more space for mission systems, or reducing a/c mass), and was designed to exploit some of the benefits provided by the applique RAM. It's a way different bird than the shitbox VKS flunkers.
 

ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
That is all true guys. But one conversation is about just mechanical and airframe changes (composites though indeed fall into this category so SAC has done great work here along with associated FCS changes) and the other convo is about the holistic change.

J-16 (as China's latest flanker) is arguably a better fighter holistically compared to the su-35 based on what we can tell. Su-35 doesn't hold a candle in terms of avionics and things like reducing active emission for all spectrum signals management when compared to j-16, particularly something like j-16D. Much of this is down to how the design bureau and manufacturer worked with component designers and manufacturers though.

There's no good way to compare like for like but mechanically, SAC hasn't really upgraded the flanker but it should also be said that is probably isn't that necessary. Okay yes they upgraded internal structures to take those avionic changes, composites, FCS etc and those are commendable.

Indeed a silly point to raise re the air brakes. Honestly none of those are critically important to a modern fighter as systems that are less understood by regular pundits.
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
With the J-16 PLAAF hoped to achieve a 4.5th fighter with AESA, advanced avionics, and missiles that could out-stick opponents ASAP. I think that making major mechanical changes would've complicated the schedule. It is a good thing that the J-16 entered service in large numbers mid-2010s.

I think an apt comparison would be the J-11D. Both projects started around the same timeframe and the latter was definitely more ambitious with regards to airframe improvements. When the aircraft was finally ready, however, J-20 already started entering service in large number, rendering it obsolete. Funny the difference a few years could make.
 
Last edited:

Top