The Q-5, J-7, J-8 and older PLAAF aircraft


Totoro

Captain
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For what it's worth, I noticed Scramble's China orbat now lists only two frontline units operating combat J-8. There are some mentioned in the test and training bases and, of course, several units operating recon variants on top of those. But it seems entirely plausible there's barely 50 combat J-8 remaining in use, with possibly close to that number of recon variant airframes. So it may be just a year or so before we see more recon J-8s remaining than combat ones. Usually having just one brigade of planes would mean entire type would be retired, as maintenance overheads for just one unit would be too big - but given there are still dozens of recon types flying as well, with J-8 that may not be the case. But retirement of combat airframes by year 2022 or so does seem very likely.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
For what it's worth, I noticed Scramble's China orbat now lists only two frontline units operating combat J-8. There are some mentioned in the test and training bases and, of course, several units operating recon variants on top of those. But it seems entirely plausible there's barely 50 combat J-8 remaining in use, with possibly close to that number of recon variant airframes. So it may be just a year or so before we see more recon J-8s remaining than combat ones. Usually having just one brigade of planes would mean entire type would be retired, as maintenance overheads for just one unit would be too big - but given there are still dozens of recon types flying as well, with J-8 that may not be the case. But retirement of combat airframes by year 2022 or so does seem very likely.

Really? ... which two are these? I assume the 78th at Shanghai/Chongming and the 109th at Changji. However there should also be the PLAN NA 5th Div at Yantai-Laishan.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Yeah, I was talking about PLAAF units only.
Scramble mentions 12th div/35th regiment and 78th brigade in Shanghai. Don't know why they're still using the regiment system for one of the units, as i thought the change to brigade system was completed. Maybe they're just slow to update on some issues?

The PLAN's 5th division/15th regiment unit is still listed on Scramble as active, of course.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Yeah, I was talking about PLAAF units only.
Scramble mentions 12th div/35th regiment and 78th brigade in Shanghai. Don't know why they're still using the regiment system for one of the units, as i thought the change to brigade system was completed. Maybe they're just slow to update on some issues?

The PLAN's 5th division/15th regiment unit is still listed on Scramble as active, of course.

Indeed, but since they updated their site I'm very much disappointed. :oops: :( :mad: :confused:
The major plus of its Orbat was its structure along the Theater Commands, now with the bases structures along the ABC it's most confusing ... and indeed there are some units left.
 

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