Air Force 1 AF100045 Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-11B "Flanker B+" Fighter (1:72 Scale)
"Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed."
- Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
The Shenyang J-11 with NATO reporting name: Flanker B+ is a single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) air superiority fighter and manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the sole operator of the aircraft.
The base J-11/A is a fourth-generation jet fighter which, like its Sukhoi brethren, is intended as a direct competitor to Western fourth generation fighters such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The J-11 was finally created in 1995 as a Chinese version of the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27SK air superiority fighter after China secured a $2.5 billion production agreement which licensed China to build 200 Su-27SK aircraft using Russian-supplied kits. Under the terms of the agreement, these aircraft would be outfitted with Russian avionics, radars and engines. However, in 2004, Russian media reported that Shenyang co-production of the basic J-11 was halted after around 100 examples were built. The PLAAF later revealed a mock-up of an upgraded multi-role version of the J-11 in mid-2002. The indigenous J-11B variant incorporates various Chinese material modifications and upgrades to the airframe with improved manufacturing methods in addition to the inclusion of domestic Chinese technologies such as radar, avionics suites and weaponry, including anti-ship and PL-12 air-to-air missiles presumably for the role of a maritime strike aircraft. The alleged reason for the sudden stop in the production line of the J-11 was because it could no longer satisfy the PLAAF's requirements, due to elements such as the obsolete avionics and radar, which were structured for aerial missions.
The J-11/J-11B's legitimacy remains unproven, despite a wealth of information coming to light since 2007. In the course of a press conference at the 2009 Farnborough Airshow, Alexander Fomin, Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Co-operation, reported that Russia had not so far tabled any questions to China with regard to "copying" military equipment. Fomin reported that Russia handed China the licences to manufacture the aircraft and its components, including an agreement on the production of intellectual property rights. Details of intellectual property rights, however have not been disclosed, fuelling speculation about a "secret" contract or parts of the original contract. The licence, at least officially, did not include an aircraft carrier version- Sukhoi Su-33 nor any variant of it, such as the Shenyang J-15. At the MAKS 2009, Rosoboronexport's General Manager Anatoli Isaykin was quoted saying: "Russia is going to investigate the J-11B, as a Chinese copy of the Su-27 and Sukhoi Company is partaking in the process." In 2010, Rosoboronexport announced via their official website that it was in talks with the Chinese side, regarding the ongoing production of weapons that Russia considers as un-licenced. In light of the ongoing investigations, Rosoboronexport expressed its concern over future sales of advanced Russian systems and components to China.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-11B "Flanker B+" fighter.
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Release Date: September 2014
Historical Account: "The People's Court" - Although the Chinese Red Army (PLA's predecessor) had operated a few aircraft since the Second Sino-Japanese War, the first organized air arm of the PLA was the Nanyuan Flying Group, formed in the summer of 1949 with about 40 ex-Nationalist aircraft, responsible for the air defence of the soon-to-be capital city of Beijing, China.
The PLAAF itself was founded on November 11th, 1949, shortly after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. At the beginning it relied heavily on Soviet help and was armed with Soviet aircraft. Within 6 years, the PLAAF began manufacturing its own aircraft, but initially these were copies of Soviet types. The first of them was the J-2, corresponding to the MiG-15. Some western observers refer to the upgraded MiG-15bis variant as J-4, but PLAAF never used "J-4" aircraft designation.
Soviet involvement also extended to training combat pilots. Those took part to some degree in the Korean War, where Chinese pilots along with their Russian counterparts often engaged American aircraft in combat. This increased cooperation between the two Communist nations also allowed the Chinese to begin building their own versions of the MiG-17 and MiG-19: the J-5 and J-6.
The 1960s proved to be a difficult period for the PLAAF. This was due to the break in relations with the Soviet Union, and as a consequence the Chinese aircraft industry almost collapsed. The outbreak of the Vietnam War helped it to recover, though, as the PRC government began providing the forces of North Vietnam with J-2s, J-5s, and some J-6s. The 1960s also saw the first indigenous Chinese designs, namely the J-8.
Although the PLAAF received significant support from Western nations in the 1980s when China was seen as a counterweight to Soviet power, this support ended in 1989 as a result of the Chinese crackdown on the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and the later collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ironically, China's former foe, Russia, became its principal arms supplier to the effect that Chinese economic growth allowed Russia to sustain its aerospace industry.
Between the Vietnam War and the early 1990s, the PLAAF's flying consisted mostly of large numbers of near-obsolete Soviet planes. The main mission scenario under consideration by the PLAAF during this time was to support the PLA in defending China against a massive Soviet tank invasion. Under the doctrine of People's War, Chinese air strategy involved large numbers of short-range low-technology fighters. This mix of forces would not have stood up well to the Republic of China Air Force, which had fewer but much more modern planes such as the F-16 and Mirage 2000.