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  • Shenyang (AVIC) J-15 (Flying Shark) Carrierborne Multirole Fighter Aircraft

    Shenyang engineers developed their carrier-based J-15 series fighter from the Russian Su-33 Flanker.

     Updated: 5/5/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The nation of China is utilizing whatever means necessary to become a recognized world power - both economically and militarily- even to the point of data theft and unauthorized reverse engineering of captured or purchased technology. Once a long-time customer of the former Soviet Union (and thusly gaining access to all sorts of Soviet technology of the time), the Chinese communist regime broke away from their overseers in the 1960s to begin development of indigenous technologies, an effort bent on forging a localized military industry which has steadily grown in reputation. The Shenyang "J-15" is one such project of note, currently undergoing testing as of this writing (2012), to provide the burgeoning People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) an indigenous multi-role carrier-based fighter solution to coincide with the acquisition, commissioning and upcoming development of several indigenous Chinese Navy aircraft carriers (the ex-Soviet carrier "Varyag", acquired privately through Ukraine, was recently commissioned on September 25th, 2012 as the "Liaoning", becoming China's first aircraft carrier). The J-15 is expected to be introduced into PLAN service sometime in 2016 depending on the outcome of flight testing and the requisite systems trials.

    At its core, the J-15 is a wholly-conventional fighter design based highly on the Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-33 "Flanker-D" - a carrier-based variant of the successful Su-27 "Flanker" air defense fighter and multi-role platform. The Chinese version is conventionally powered though outfitted as such to deserve the "4.5th Generation Fighter" mark - reportedly placing its capabilities on par with the American Boeing F/A-18 "Super Hornet" and the French Dassault Rafale (though falling short of the 5th Generation Lockheed F-22 "Raptor"). Due to its origins in the Su-33, the J-15 follows the same refined lines of its Soviet/Russian counterpart complete with twin vertical tail fins, swept wing angles and forward canards. The dual engine configuration is aspirated by large rectangular air intakes under the fuselage as in the Flanker series. The cockpit is set well-forward in the design, offering excellent vision out of the cockpit, while an advanced tracking and engagement radar is housed within the elongated nose cone. The undercarriage remains a traditional tricycle design with two main legs and a double-tired nose leg - all wholly retractable.

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    Shenyang J-15 (Flying Shark) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 2013
    Type: Carrierborne Multirole Fighter Aircraft
    National Origin: China
    Manufacturer(s): Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
    Production Total: 15

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 71.85 feet (21.9 meters)
    Width: 48.23 feet (14.70 meters)
    Height: 19.36 feet (5.90 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 39,022 lb (17,700 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 62,832 lb (28,500 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x WS-10A Taihang afterburning turbofan engines developing 30,000 lb of thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 1,305 mph (2,100 kph; 1,134 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,709 miles (2,750 km)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 30mm internal cannon
    2 x Short-range air-to-air missiles (wingtips)

    Up to eight underwing/underfuselage hardpoints for the carrying of air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship or anti-radiation missiles.

    Global Operators / Customers


    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    J-15 - Base Series Designation