TYPE: Air superiority fighter.
PROGRAMME: In February 1996, the Russian military sales organisation Rosvooruzheniye (now Rosoboronexport) announced a contract under which China would be licensed to manufacture the Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker' (up to 50 per year; total of 200 in all) at Shenyang.
An initial batch of 26 Russian-built Su-27s, delivered from 1992, comprised 20 Su-27SKs ('Flanker-B') and six two-seat Su-27UBK combat trainers ('Flanker-C'). These equip the PLAAF's 3rd Division, based at Wuhu, Anhui Province, in the Nanjing Military Region. They were followed in 1996 by a further 24 (18 and six, respectively), delivered to the 2nd Division in Shuixi, Guangdong Province, Guangzhou Military Region. Agreement for an additional 50 to 60, for 1997-98 delivery, was reached in August 1997. This was preceded in February 1997 by Russian licence for Chinese manufacture at Shenyang, initially in the form of CKD kit assembly; in 1998 KnAAPO delivered the first two kits of a reported batch of 15; both of these made their first flight in December 1998, and about 20 reportedly completed by mid-2002. However, it was reported in mid-2000 that substandard work had caused Russian technicians to rebuild first two aircraft, necessitating import, from 14 December 2000 onwards, of 28 additional Russian-built two-seat Su-27UBKs to offset shortfall in Chinese production and maintain pilot training schedule. Eight of these delivered by 31 December 2000, with 10 each following in 2001 and 2002.
As regards Chinese production, six or seven Su-27s were planned to be assembled annually during 1999-2001, increasing to 15 to 20 per year from 2002. Chinese-built Su-27s are designated J-11 (single-seat) and JJ-11 (two-seat). Later production planned to be of upgraded Su-30MKK variant (Chinese designation possibly J-13, but not confirmed), of which PLA AF has ordered 80, plus 30 of the Su-30MK2 naval strike variant.
According to a late 2002 report Shenyang is developing its own multirole version of the J-11, to incorporate an indigenous multimode radar and other avionics and be capable of deploying the domestic PL-12/SD-10 active radar-homing AAM and Chinese or Russian PGMs. One Su-27K/J-11 was also said to have been used in 2002 to flight test the domestic WS10A tufbofan engine.