BEIJING --- China's J-16 fighters have finished the factory test stage and a small batch of them has entered into service of the Chinese Air Force, according to November issue of the Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese language military affairs magazine.
An article in the magazine said that since the number of J-16 fighters is very big and these fighter jets will enter into service in both the Chinese Navy and Air Force. The next stage is the development of F-16 electronic warfare, jammer and electronic reconnaissance aircraft.
The development of J-16 fighters started when China received Su-30MK2 fighters. J-16 uses the domestic Taihang engine. But the current deployment speed is still quite slow.
The Chinese Navy may equip the J-16 fighters with YJ-12 series of supersonic anti-ship missiles to improve its ship attack capability. Because there was no suitable carrier before, YJ-12A missile is currently carried by the H-6 bombers.
At the same time, China obtained the KH31P anti-radiation missiles in 1990s, and developed YJ-91 missiles. It is worth noting if the J-16 fighters will carry the missiles in the future, said Kanwa Defense Review.
The article said that the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation will produce more J-11D, J-16 and Chinese version of Su-35 fighter jets. However, China is still in the technical accumulation phase and the production has not entered the full production phase.
According to reports, J-16 is the new third-generation multi-purpose two-seat fighter bomber based on J-11, developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. The maiden flight of J-16 was held on October 17, 2011 in Shenyang. J-16 is equipped with automatic electronic scanning phased array radar, which can attack multiple targets at the same time and identify the targets’ information.
Military expert Wang Mingliang said in an interview that J-16 is a dual mission fighter and its air combat and ground attack capability are very strong. The aircraft is both for offensive and defensive purposes. J-16 is similar to F-15E fighter in terms of performance, but it has better bomb load and fire control system.
Today, countries around the world are developing fourth-generation stealth fighters. Every move of the Chinese fourth-generation J-20 and J-31 catches attention of media and military fans. Some media pointed out that China will not only equip the J-20 and J-31 in the future. J-16 will serve as a supplement of J-20, becoming one member of the Chinese main fighters in the future.
"The fourth-generation aircraft will become the backbone of our air combat, but the majority in service will still be the third-generation fighter jets," said Wang.