Shenyang J-8

From Academic Kids

Image:J-8 4.jpg
J-8IIM

J-8 or Jian-8 (NATO reporting name Finback) is a People's Republic of China-built fighter aircraft. Its main role is to serve as an interceptor. It has two Liyang (LMC) Wopen-7A turbojet engines, and has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2. Being an interceptor, the aircraft has one-seat and is armed with two cannons and six hardpoints for missiles, bombs, rockets or fuel tanks.

There are currently about 150 J-8s serving in the People's Liberation Army Air Force; that number is expected to grow in the next ten years.

Design

The plane's design began in 1964 and is the first Chinese plane to be designed and built indigenously. Despite design beginning in 1964 it was not produced until 1979 and it entered service in 1980. Its basic frame is an enlargement of the MiG-21, and despite it entering service relatively late, it remains very unmaneuverable, comparable to many older Soviet aircraft. The initially designed J-8 has thus begun to be upgraded, with the newest variant known as the J-8IIM.

The J-8IIM is a much improved version of the original J-8 and is comparable to the F-16 and Mirage 2000. The J-8IIM also appears slightly different than the J-8, the J-8 resembling a longer MiG-21 while the J-8IIM has a different nose structure more reminiscent of the Su-15.

April 2001 incident

In April 2001, a Chinese J-8 fighter jet collided with a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying over international waters south of China. The EP-3 was able to make an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island despite extensive damage; the PRC aircraft crashed with the loss of its pilot, Wang Wei. Following extensive negotiations resulting in the Letter of the two sorries, the crew of the EP-3 was allowed to leave China 11 days later, but the U.S. aircraft was not permitted to depart for another 3 months. Subsequently, the relationship, which had cooled following the incident, gradually improved.


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