China’s advanced J-11D heavy fighter jet takes maiden flight
The upgraded D variant of China’s J-11 fighter jet, a copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-27, has made its maiden flight, Chinese media reported. The jet reportedly has new radar and an air refueling system.
The J-11D model, which was tested in the air for the first time on Wednesday, incorporates technologies developed for the J-16 fighter jet.
It is reported to have better active phased array radar, use more composite materials in its wings and tail, and be capable of firing more advanced air-to-air missiles like PL-10 and PL-15.
Photos of the J-11D prototype tested at a Shenyang Aircraft Corporation airfield also showed an in-flight refueling probe installed on the port side similar to the arrangement used on J-15.
China was the first foreign country to buy Russian Su-27s in the early 1990s. Over a decade it purchased a manufacturing license for the jets and managed to copy the design to produce it from domestic parts.