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lcloo

Senior Member
Why risk using costly J-7?
IMO it would far more cost effective to swarm the sky with cheap drones and use them to strike important military targets (radars, anti-air, HQ, airbases)
Old and Decommisoned J7's current value is close to a few thousand dollars. They are going to scrap yard or museum or use as target for live fire exercises. Using them as cheap decoy drones to draw enemy's expensive anti-aircraft missiles does sound logical.
 

banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
When that idea came up before in this forum, some posters dismissed it as not being worth it (cost and effort refitting). any insights?
 

Temstar

Senior Member
Registered Member
When that idea came up before in this forum, some posters dismissed it as not being worth it (cost and effort refitting). any insights?
This discussion is better suited for the UAV thread so I'll keep it brief.
lgQy-fxypunk6061268.jpg

PLA watchers within China have written about this topic. Yes it seems like a good use of old J-6 and J-7, but that's because you're overlooking a very important resource: maintenance and runway time.

To keep a fleet of converted J-6 and J-7 UAV airworthy requires maintenance crew, particularly in the vast numbers often envisioned. You don't want them to be unreliable and blow up on the runway at a time when runway is really busy.

If forceful reunification actually occurs these UAV require even more ground crew time to fuel and attach iron bombs to them. And they have to line up and take off on actual military runways, taking up runway time that may be better off being used to send up actual manned aircraft that are also needed.

On the other hand, if you were to build some new dedicated kamikaze UAV you wouldn't design them like that, instead the result would look more like this IAI Harop here:
SQQLWCMTBJH35BH6WEHQ6SL6CE.jpg
While it still kind of looks like a plane you notice it's launched from a boxy launcher and comes in a sealed unit to minimise maintenance. It actually in many ways is more similar to a cruise missile than an aircraft. Given the above mentioned cost in manpower and runway time for converted fighter UAVs, it may actually be cheaper to just build new dedicated UAVs for this purpose.
 

drowingfish

Junior Member
Registered Member
This discussion is better suited for the UAV thread so I'll keep it brief.
View attachment 77921

PLA watchers within China have written about this topic. Yes it seems like a good use of old J-6 and J-7, but that's because you're overlooking a very important resource: maintenance and runway time.

To keep a fleet of converted J-6 and J-7 UAV airworthy requires maintenance crew, particularly in the vast numbers often envisioned. You don't want them to be unreliable and blow up on the runway at a time when runway is really busy.

If forceful reunification actually occurs these UAV require even more ground crew time to fuel and attach iron bombs to them. And they have to line up and take off on actual military runways, taking up runway time that may be better off being used to send up actual manned aircraft that are also needed.

On the other hand, if you were to build some new dedicated kamikaze UAV you wouldn't design them like that, instead the result would look more like this IAI Harop here:
View attachment 77922
While it still kind of looks like a plane you notice it's launched from a boxy launcher and comes in a sealed unit to minimise maintenance. It actually in many ways is more similar to a cruise missile than an aircraft. Given the above mentioned cost in manpower and runway time for converted fighter UAVs, it may actually be cheaper to just build new dedicated UAVs for this purpose.
I agree with your assessment, but with thousands available, I am sure a few can be converted into drones for target practice.
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
I agree with your assessment, but with thousands available, I am sure a few can be converted into drones for target practice.
Just because thousands are available doesn't make it cost effective.
1. It is heavier than a purpose built drone (size was designed to support a human)
2. Need to develop all new systems (can't just drop in a radar seeker and call it day)
3. No commercial value (unlikely to be sold on the export market, would normally offset some of the cost above)
These are in addition to the points already raised

Why is everyone always dreaming of the swarm of J-6/J-7? Just use common sense. There are thousands of 1980's American cars in the scrapyard. No one is rushing to buy those up and drop in an Electric motor to call it an EV.
 

Lime

New Member
Registered Member
apparently refit decommissioned J7 into UAV is not a wise way because it costs more than manufacture a drone.

Using these J7 as a educational model at school,public park or scenic spot is more rational.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
apparently refit decommissioned J7 into UAV is not a wise way because it costs more than manufacture a drone.

Using these J7 as a educational model at school,public park or scenic spot is more rational.
Or just use them as intended?
save the remaining airframe hours, and use as very fast bomb trucks using modern weapons.
 

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